Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does the Heligenics GigaAssay do?
The GigaAssay is a massively parallel method to generate over a million variants in any region of the genome, and analyze the effect of each variant on a specific cell and/or molecular function.
A Mutation Effect on Gene Activity (MEGA-Map™) measures the impact of amino acid substitutions in the target protein upon its molecular function or a cellular process in human cells.
How can the Heligenics technology help a drug discovery effort?
In drug discovery the GigaAssay and MEGA-Maps™ can discover new biologics, improve lead screening, evaluate derivative compounds, optimizing clinical trial design, and discover new resistance mutations.
Aren’t there other drug discovery tools that are similar?
A commonly used tool in drug discovery, phage display, is a bacterial peptide expression system used for determining high-binding protein sequences. Developed in the mid-1980’s, currently this technique and yeast display are used for engineered antibody fragment selection. The only function phage display can assay for is binding of an antibody fragment to an epitope, one of many different protein functions for which the GigaAssay can be used.
How can Heligenics technology be used to improve diagnostic tests?
Many genetic tests, whether for inherited disease or for somatic mutations in cancer, have naturally occurring mutations with unknown significance for pathology. With the GigaAssay, the functional impact of previously detected Variants of Unknown Significance (VUS) can be defined with high precision.
Can a GigaAssay be applied to regions of the genome outside protein-coding regions?
Yes, the GigaAssay can be applied to investigate the impact of all mutations in a gene promoter region, or any other untranslated regions of the genome.
What in particular does the GigaAssay measure?
The GigaAssay is a flexible platform that can measure a wide variety of molecular functions of a given target protein or genetic sequence. For example, it can be used to measure DNA repair, cell division, signal transduction, phosphorylation events, or apoptosis to name a few.
How accurate is the GigaAssay?
We have analyzed multiple genes with multiple approach such as comparison to true positives and true negatives in the literature, nonsense mutations, and benchmark data determined in house by gold-standard techniques. We consistently measure an accuracy of about 95% and positive predictive values (PPV)s close to 100%. Each activity is assigned a p value to evaluate a confidence in our measurements.
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