October 2013: We release yet more new products- novel antibodies to cFos, Aurora A and ALDH1L1. The cFos protein is an important transcriptional regulator, and is heavily upregulated when cells respond to a variety of stimuli- our novel antibodies sensitively detects cFos protein in the nuclei of responding cells and are particularly useful in studies of the nervous system, as the nuclei of activated neurons stain strongly, while those of quiescent cells show very little staining. We have generate a mouse monoclonal antibody MCA-2H2 and also an affinity purified rabbit polyclonal antibody RPCA-c-Fos-AP. Both can be used to monitor cell activation both in vitro and in sectioned material. Aurora A is a serine/threonine protein kinase important in the regulation of cell division, and we have two new monoclonals to this protein, MCA-5A12 and MCA-3H1. ALDH1L1 is an aldehyde dehydrogenase family enzyme heavily expressed in the astrocytic cytoplasm, providing an alternative to GFAP as an astrocyte marker. It stains cytoplasmic processes rather than the central cytoskeleton as since with GFAP, so gives a slightly different view. Our new antibodies are MCA-4A12 and MCA-2E7, which have distinct epitopes an the ALDH1L1 protein. As usual all our antibodies detect the protein immunogen both on western blots and immunocytochemically.
June 2013: We release yet more new products. Firstly, we now have a panel of antibodies to ALDH1L1, one of the a family of aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes. This particular protein is interesting as it is believed to be a specific marker of astroctyes in the central nervous system. We have developed a rabbit polyclonal antibody to this protein, RPCA-ALDH1L1, and we will release excellent chicken polyclonal and mouse monoclonal antibodies to the same protein next month. These antibodies all recognize astrocytes in sections and astrocytes and other non neuronal cells in tissue culture specifically, and provide complementary imaging of the astrocytlc perikarya and distal processes to that seen with our collection of GFAP antibodies, which primarily bind to the core of astrocytic processes. We also introduce two other mouse monoclonal antibodies which can be used to identify non-neuronal cells in the CNS, this time binding to the abundant enzyme Aldolase C, specifically antibodies MCA-4A9 and MCA-1A1. These bind two distinct epitopes on the Aldolase C molecule. We have also made available chicken and rabbit antibodies to visinin like protein 1 (VSNL1), a major low molecular weight calcium binding protein of neurons recently shown to be a potential biomarker of CNS injury. These antibodies, RPCA-VSNL1 and CPCA-VSNL1, complement our pair of already released mouse monoclonal antibodies to this protein. We also introduce a new chicken antibody to α-synuclein, CPCA-SNCA. We have now licensed and are manufacturing an excellent mouse monoclonal antibody to β-amyloid, the major component of the senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease, namely MCA-AB9. Finally we and our various collaborators continue to publish peer reviewed research reports made using our antibodies and in particular our pNF-H ELISA kit. For examples see here, here and here.
March 2013: Our CEO and founder, Dr. Gerry Shaw, is featured in the Florida High Tech magazine, which focuses on companies in the Florida High Tech Corridor an area including Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando, and the Universities of Florida, South Florida and Central Florida. A short video clip from the interview is on Youtube and can be vewed here. In other news, Dr. Shaw also retired from the University of Florida after 27 years as a Professor there. The major reason for doing this is so that he can concentrate on running, EnCor, his private company but also, to quote him directly "27 years of anything is probably enough". Also, he can get something interesting done quickly in his company but would have to wait months to get the same thing done in the state university system due to onerous and basically silly bureaucratic nonsenses. We also release a new antibodies to the microtubule associated protein tau. Our mouse monoclonal is MCA-2E9 and our chicken polyclonal antibody is CPCA-Tau. MAP-tau is a major protein of neurons where it associates with and may regulate the interactions of microtubules. Tau is also a major component of the aberrant neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer's disease, and some other neurological diseases.
February 2013: We release five new polyclonal antibodies, which are rabbit and chicken antibodies specific for Lamin A/C (RPCA-LaminAC and CPCA-LaminAC), rabbit antibody to Vimentin (RPCA-Vim), chicken antibody to Heat Shock Protein 27 (HSP27, CPCA-HSP27) and an improved version of our rabbit antibody to GAPDH (RPCA-GAPDH). Lamin A/C and GAPDH are abundant proteins found in most cell types which are useful markers of cytoplasm (GAPDH) and the nuclear lamina (Lamin A/C). GAPDH also changes in distribution when cells become apoptotic and interacts with a wide variety of other proteins. Vimentin is a developmentally regulated marker in the nervous system and can also be used to identify fibroblastic and microglial cells. HSP27 is an abundant cytoplasmic protein which functions as a chaperone.
December 2012: We release a new mouse monoclonal to High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) protein, called MCA-1F3. HMGB1 is an important and abundant molecule found in the nucles of eukaytic cells where it associates with histones and DNA, but it also has a role as one of the "Damage Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules". These so-called DAMPs are proteins released from damaged cells which bind to Toll like receptor (TLR) family members. HMBG1 is released from necrotic but not apoptotic cells and binds to TLR4 and so induces an inflammatory response. We also release a mouse monoclonal antibody to Aldolase C, a major cytoplasmic enzyme found concentrated in astrocytic cells. This is MCA-4A9, and it was raised against an N-terminal peptide of human Aldolase C.
September 2012: We release new antibodies to visinin-like protein 1 (VSNL1). This is a small calcium binding protein related to calmodulin which is expressed in very high levels in many neurons. These are two mouse monoclonals, MCA-2D11 and MCA-3A9 and a rabbit polyclonal is in progress. VSNL1 antibody can be used to identify and classify neurons in sections and in tissue culture, and has been shown to be released from damaged and degenerating neurons following traumatic brain injury and in Alzheimer's disease. In other news, our CEO, Gerry Shaw, is now co-founder and scientific advisor of a new company, Iron Horse Diagnostics, which will use EnCor antibodies and biomarker assays in the clinical diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease) and other CNS damage and disease states. Various studies have used EnCor assays to show that the neurofilament subunit pNF-H is released into blood and CSF at greatly elevated levels in ALS patients, and that the levels detected are of prognostic and diagnostic utility. The other co-founder, president and CEO of Iron Horse is Dr. Robert Bowser of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, and the major facility of the new company will be in the Phoenix area.
August 2012: We have now generated an excellent monoclonal antibody to Ubiquilin 2, a protein implicated in familial forms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). This is clone MCA-6H9. We also release a monoclonal to the RRM domain protein Fox1, a.k.a. ataxin 2 binding protein 1 or A2BP1, clone MCA-1G10. Fox1 is a close relative of Fox2 and Fox3/NeuN, all three being homologues of the Fox1 originally identified in C. elegans. Fox3/NeuN antibody is widely used marker of neuronal nuclei. Like NeuN/Fox3, antibody to Fox1 is an excellent marker of neuronal nuclei in the central nervous system. Note we also market antibodies to NeuN/Fox3, specifically our mouse monoclonal antibody MCA-1B7 and rabbit polyclonal antibody RPCA-Fox3.
July 2012: We have now generated two new monoclonal antibodies to the lysosomal associated membrane glycoprotein LAMP1. These are MCA-5H6 and MCA-6E2, and both work well on blots, revealing a diffuse band in the range of molecular weights 90-120kDa, as expected, since LAMP1 is heavily and variably glycosylated. Both antibodies also work well in immunohistochemistry, revealing early endosomes and lysosomes cleanly and strongly. These antibodies can be used to identify and track lysosomes, as western blotting standards and to monitor the level of lysosomal activity.
June 2012: We have now manufactured antibody preparations from the hybridoma lines we licensed from the laboratory of W. Clay Smith and collaborators, of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida. These are two excellent antibodies to rhodopsin, MCA-A531 and MCA-B630 and an excellent antibody to enolase 1 (a.k.a. enolase α and non-neuronal enolase). This is MCA-253, which binds to the N-terminal peptide of enolase 1 and does not cross-react with the very closely related molecules enolase 2 (a.k.a. neuron specific enolase and enolase γ and enolase 3 (a.k.a. enolase β). We also release an excellent antibody to visual rod arrestin (a.k.a. arrestin-1 and S-antigen), clone MCA-S128, also from this group.
May 2012: We plan to release yet more antibodies this month; Firstly we release a chicken polyclonal antibody to mCherry, CPCA-mCherry. Also we now supply some of the excellent antibodies developed by Dr. David Muir in the University of Florida Department of Pediatrics, including his widely used peptide antibodies to matrix metalloprotienase II (MMP2- RPCA-MMP2) and growth associated protein 43 (GAP43, RPCA-GAP43).
April 2012: We release several new antibodies this month- Firstly there is MCA-4C4, an excellent mouse monoclonal to Lamin A/C which works well both on immunoblots and in immunocytochemistry. This antibody can be used to visualize the nuclear lamina and as a western blotting control, since Lamin A/C levels are quite stable in cells and tissues under most conditions. Secondly we release MCA-6H11, a mouse monoclonal antibody to heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27), an ubiquitous and important chaperone protein. Thirdly we release RPCA-mCherry, our affinity purified polyclonal antibody to mCherry, an engineered form of a coral red fluorescent protein. Finally we release another mouse monoclonal antibody to MAP2, MCA-4H5, an excellent marker of neuronal perikarya and dendrites. This antibody complements our already released MAP2 mouse monoclonal MCA-5H11 and our extremely popular chicken polyclonal to MAP2, CPCA-MAP2.
March 2012: We continue to test products from other companies with our antibodies as a means of getting further information on both, of potential benefit to both us and our collaborators. Recently we obtained some specialized tissue culture dishes from Akron Biotechnology LLC, a company located in Boca Raton, Florida. This company makes various kinds of 3-D tissue culture scaffolds. We obtained two Akron PolyFiber 24 well plates, one which had aligned nanofibrils and the other in which the fibrils were randomly organized. The fibrils are about the same size as extracellular matrix proteins which they are intended to mimic. We were able to grow many kinds of cell line on these plates with no problems, and were able to see that the the cells became strongly orientated along the aligned fibrils, but were randomly oriented in plates with randomly oriented Polyfibers. Some images are here, and show cells double labeled with our popular chicken vimentin antibody CPCA-Vim and our new mouse monoclonal antibody to actin, MCA-5J11. We also found out that we will be working on a newly funded research project with P2D Bioscience, an established drug discovery and biomarker company located in Cincinnati, OH. We will contribute antibodies and expertise to this project. Finally we license a series of mouse monoclonals to rhodopsin, arrestin/S-antigen and Enolase 1 from the laboratory of W. Clay Smith, of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida. We have fully characterized these excellent reagents and will be ready to market them soon.
February 2012: We release a new mouse monoclonal to actin, one of the most abundant and highly conserved proteins of vertebrates. Our antibody, MCA-5J11, binds the protein products of all six mammalian actin genes strongly and cleanly on western blots. Unlike some companies we could name, we actually have data to prove this (see here). Since the antibody binds these six abundant proteins which are found essentially all kinds of mammalian cell and tissue extract, we believe it will be an excellent protein standard for quantification of bands on western blots, comparable to our very popular monoclonal antibody to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, MCA-1D4. The actin antibody also works in immunofluorescense, and stains the submembraneous cytoskeleton, filopodia and stress fibers in HeLa, 3T3 and similar cells. If you would like a free sample of either of these antibodies email email@example.com including your shipping address. We also initiate OEM supply agreements with two further reagent companies, namely United States Biological and Biomolecular Integrations. United States Biological is a large and well established vendor located in Swampscott, Massachusetts, while Biomolecular Integrations is a relatively new company located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
January 2012: Our founder and CEO Gerry Shaw obviously had time on his hands over the holidays and was wondering how to make best use of our new Nanodrop spectrophotometer. As most readers will know, spectrophotometers measure the absorbance of protein and nucleic acid solutions and are widely used to quantify the levels of these substances in solution. The Nanodrop machines are particularly quick and convenient for this purpose. Protein absorbance determinations are usually done at a wavelength 280nm, at which only the amino acids Tryptophan, Tyrosine and Cystine (i.e. two disulfide linked Cysteine residues) absorb. Unfortunately all three are rather rare amino acids, and it is quite possible for a protein to have very low or unusually high levels of each or any of these, so that the same amount of different proteins can have wildly different absorbance values. To use a spectrophotometer with accuracy on a pure protein it is therefore necessary to know the absorbance based on the content of these three amino acids. Gerry wrote a useful on line calculator which can integrate the absorbance of a protein, determined from the sequence, with the OD value measured, to get an accurate determination of the amount of protein. The page is here, and other useful protocols, many of which are now linked to by other companies and sources, are available here.
December 2011: We wish all our customers and business partners a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus or whatever else they celebrate this time of year! And a Happy New Year also! We also release a new monoclonal antibody directed against another disease related RNA binding protein. This is MCA-5H7, directed against the Ewing Sarcoma Breakpoint Region 1 (EWSR1) protein. EWSR1 is related in structure to TAF15 and TDP43, and all three proteins have been implicated in the etiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. We also release a new monoclonal antibody to Doublecortin, MCA-3E1, also known as DCX, an excellent marker of neuronal stem cells and developing neurons. We also release a new monoclonal antibody to microtubule associated protein 2- MAP2, MCA-5H11. This is an excellent marker of neuronal perikarya and dendrites. Finally our collaborator, Neuromics, reveals the "Backstory" on the founder of EnCor, Gerry Shaw on the 20th December 2011 entry of Neuromics.net.
November 2011: We release a new affinity purified antibody to Adenylcyclase III, RPCA-ACIII, an excellent marker of neuronal cilia. We also report our completely independent findings with two excellent products from Neuromics, namely their E18 Primary Rat Hippocampal Cells and their hN2 Human Neurons Discovery Kit. These kits contain live cells which were shipped to our lab, where we followed the Neuromics protocol and in both cases obtained beautiful cells with no problems. Details of some of our findings are here, for the hippocampal cells and here for hN2 cells.
October 2011: We release several more antibodies, including a high quality monoclonal antibody to TATA box binding protein-associated factor 2F (TAF15), MCA-4D71, a RRM domain protein related to Tar DNA binding protein 43 (TDP43) and recently implicated in the development of some forms of ALS. We release two new monoclonal antibodies to vimentin, MCA-2D1 and MCA-2A52 and several monoclonal antibodies to Microtubule-Associated Protein 2 (MAP2 - details in a few days). We have generated a novel mouse monoclonal to the engineered fluorescent protein Cherry, MCA-1C51. Cherry is related to Green Fluorescent Protein, and is used to track protein expression using fluorescent techniques. We also release a new mouse monoclonal antibody and high quality rabbit and chicken polyclonal antibodies to Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP43), MCA-1E3, and CPCA-GAP43 and RPCA-GAP43. These GAP43 antibodies are excellent markers of neuronal and especially synaptic membranes.
July 2011: We release novel high quality mouse monoclonal antibodies to the neuronal plasma membrane mmarker α-II spectrin, MCA-3D7, the Parkinson's disease associated protein DJ1/Park7, MCA-4H4, the mammalian lectin Galectin-3, MCA-5C21, and a member of the 14.3.3 family of proteins which is very abundant in the nervous system, 14.3.3η (or 14.3.3 eta), MCA-3G12.
May 2011: We release yet more antibodies in the next few weeks, including a panel of alpha-II spectrin antibodies, antibodies to 14-3-3 eta, Doublecortin/DCX, DJ1, Tau, Galectin 3, chicken antibody to GAP43 and several more. We will post links to each new product over the next few weeks.
January 2011: We sign an agreement to supply immunoreagents to Biosensis, a vendor located in Thebarton, South Australia.
November 2010: We get awarded nearly $250,000 as part of the stimulus package, specifically the "Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project" program, a tax credit or grant. (The grant is for those unusual biotechnology companies which, like EnCor, actually make a profit). This will fund our work on biomarkers and biomarker assay development, and will be used to purchase robotic machinery so we can increase the rate of our antibody development. We also release a new monoclonal antibody to splicing factor SF3B4, a ubiquitously expressed nuclear protein which is an important component of the splicosome, this antibody being MCA-3A1. We also release a monoclonal antibody to NeuN, the neuronal nuclear and cytoplasmic protein, which is widely used as a marker of neuronal development, neuronal stem cells and for the identification and counting of neurons. For many years the identify of the NeuN antigen was unknown, despite that fact that an antibody to NeuN became very widely used. Recently the NeuN immunogen was identified as Fox3, an RNA binding protein (for reference see here). We expressed human Fox3 in bacteria and made our own monoclonal MCA-1B7, which also stains neuronal nuclei and cytoplasm. We also have an excellent polyclonal rabbit anti-NeuN/Fox3 RPCA-Fox3, which is now also available. This antibody can be used in double label experiments and also without any cross-reactivity problems on mouse tissues.
July 2010: We will release a number of new antibodies in the next few weeks. Watch this space!!
May 2010: A group of collaborators in the Howard Florey Institute in the University of Melbourne, Australia, publish a report on one of our antibodies, the alpha-synuclein monoclonal antibody MCA-2A7. This antibody formed the basis of a novel ELISA which proves to be superior in ability to capture alpha-synuclein from human plasma samples. The paper also describes the epitope for the antibody which proves to be in the central "NAC" region of the molecule. A link to the abstract of this paper is here. Perhaps surprisingly, alpha-synuclein is found in large amounts in plasma, and the levels detected are different between patients with Parkinson's disease compared to age matched controls.
December 2009: Our recent biomarker work is described in a report published on line by the Packard Foundation, which is devoted to studies of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis leading to a cure of this debilitating and all-to-common disease. The report outlines work published in our recent Journal of Neurochemistry paper and can be viewed from here.
November 2009: We are featured on the Prize4life website because we entered a competition the aim of which is to find a biomarker of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease and Lou Gehrig's disease). We entered our pNF-H ELISA which we are continuously improving and which we recently showed appears to be a workable biomarker of this disease (see here). For details of the Prize4life organization go here and for details of the ALS biomarker prize go here.
October 2009: We publish our eigth biomarker paper which reports on a novel biomarker of CNS damage and disease, Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase 1 (UCHL1). UCHL1 is a major brain protein which is concentrated in the perikarya and dendrites of neurons, so that measurement of the release of this protein into blood or CSF gives information complementary to that which can be obtained with our pNF-H ELISA. We examined the release of UCHL1 and compared it to the release of pNF-H and S100beta into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 30 aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients. S100beta is an established biomarker of CNS damage and disease, but is believed to reflect primarily injury and degeneration of astrocytic cells. This work was a collaboration between Scientists and Clinicians in the McKnight Brain Institute in Gainesville and EnCor. To do this work we developed a sensitive UCHL1 ELISA using our monoclonal antibody MCA-BH7. The work will be published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research shortly. We have also further characterized our two alpha-synuclein monoclonal antibodies MCA-3H9 and MCA-2A7, and found that binding of both to alpha-synuclein is dependent on amino acids 61-95, which corresponds to the so-called "NAC" regions of this protein, which was discovered as the "Non-Amyloid beta Component of AD amyloid", a peptide found in senile plaques along with Amyloid beta (Ueda et al. 1993). NAC corresponded to the central part of alpha-synuclein and was how human alpha-synuclein was originally discovereed. These findings extend the utility of these two antibodies.
September 2009: We publish our seventh biomarker paper which reports on pNF-H detection in the blood of rodent models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and a preliminary cohort of ALS patients. The paper is a collaboration between Scientists in the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, the McKnight Brain Institute in Gainesville and EnCor, and shows that our pNF-H ELISA can be used to track the onset and progression of axonal loss in several different strains of ALS model rodents. This approach may prove to be much more efficient than other methods of tracking axonal loss in this animals and my be useful for screening drugs aimed at combating ALS. We also describe a new pNF-H ELISA made using two of EnCor's monoclonal antibodies, MCA-NAP4, and MCA-AH1, which work well together. We also show that, like the ALS model rodents, ALS patients release measurable levels of pNF-H into their blood. The results will be published shortly in the on-line version of the prestigious Journal of Neurochemistry. A link to the abstract is here.
June 2009: We release yet more antibodies including a new rabbit antibody to Alpha-II spectrin RPCA-aII-Spec, new mouse monoclonal antibodies to Nestin (MCA-4D11), Tar DNA binding protein 43 (MCA-3H8) and UCHL1. We also have a new peptide antibody to matrix metalloproteinase 2 (RPCA-MMP2).
May 2009: Our solar power system is finally installed and on-line! We now make use of one of Florida's best free resources, sunshine. Through our feed in tariff agreement with Gainesville Regional Utilities, we are generating more electricity than we are using and, surprisingly, selling electricity to GRU for more we pay GRU for the electricity we use. This seems like a pretty good deal.
March 2009: We continue to expand the number of companies to which we supply our antibodies. The latest additions are Abnova, a major antibody supplier located in Korea and BioVendor, a company located in the Czech Republic. Abnova markets a very large number of antibody reagents, and BioVendor is well known as a supplier of ELISA kits. Also our patent application "Detecting brain damage from blood samples" is approved by the European patent office. This is the basis of our pNF-H ELISA kit.
January 2009: We continue to produce new antibodies of interest to the research community. The first of our new panel of antibodies to alpha-synuclein (MCA-3H9 and MCA-2A7) are now available, as is a new Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) antibody (MCA-5C10). We also release two new antibodies reactive with phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNF-H), clones MCA-AH1 and MCA-9B12. We also generated a new monoclonal antibody to neurofilament light chain NF-L (MCA-7D1). All of these antibodies are well characterized and significantly cheaper than comparable products from other companies. In an unrelated development, we are now a much greener company since we have signed a contract with ECS-Solar to install a 25KW solar panel array on the roof of our facility. In the near future we will be generating more electricity than we are using, more than offsetting our electricity bills.
September 2008: Our sixth biomarker paper has been accepted for publication, this one in the journal "Molecular Vision". The paper is entitled " Phosporylated meurofilament heavy chain is a marker of neurodegeneration in LHON " and reports a collaboration between scientists in the University of Florida, the University of Southern California and EnCor. The paper shows that our pNF-H ELISA can be used to monitor optic nerve degenereation in Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy.
May 2008: We are pleased that our fourth and fifth biomarker papers have both been accepted for publication. "Validation of a novel biomarker for acute axonal injury in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis", a collaboration between scientists at the Howard Florey Institute in the University of Melbourne, Australia, and EnCor, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuroscience Research. In addition "The Phosphorylated Axonal form of the Neurofilament Subunit NF-H (pNF-H) as a Blood Biomarker of Traumatic Brain Injury", a collaboration between University of Florida scientists and EnCor, will soon appear in the Journal of Neurotrauma. Both reports make use of our pNF-H ELISA, showing that it can be used monitor progression of multiple sclerosis in the widely used EAE mouse model of multiple sclerosis and the recovery process from experimental brain injury in a rat model.
March 2008: We are pleased that our third biomarker paper, "Detection of phosphorylated NF-H (pNF-H) in CSF and blood of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients", a collaboration between EnCor and University of Florida scientists and clinicians, has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. This makes use of our pNF-H ELISA, and appears on-line in here.
January 2008: We release another rabbit polyclonal antibody, this time binding to both phosphorylated and non phosphorylated forms of the neurofilament subunit NF-H. The antibody, RPCA-NF-H-pInd, was raised against a recombinant fusion protein expressed in bacteria and binds with high titer and specificity to dendritic, perikaryal and axonal neurofilaments.
September 2007: Stimulated by our ongoing biomarker research we have made many new antibodies in the last few months, including an excellent monoclonal antibody to UCHL1 a rabbit polyclonal antibody to neuron specific enolase (NSE).
June 2007: EnCor's Chief Scientific Officer and also University Professor, Gerry Shaw, has been busy with the day job recently. In collaboration with a world renowed expert on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS - better known in the USA as Lou Gehrig's disease) and other serious neurodegenerative diseases, David Borchelt, he was awarded a three year grant by the ALS Association. This grant will perform a detailed study of the release of our biomarker of axonal injury and degeneration, pNF-H, into the blood of patients with ALS. The study (details here) will see if this protein can predict the onset of ALS in individuals with mutations predisposing them to this disease, will see how pNF-H blood levels change as ALS progresses and see if changes in the blood levels of pNF-H can be used to determine how effective ALS therapies have been.
April 2007: We present our biomarker research to the ALS Initiative Meeting in Cambridge, MA. We provide evidence that pNF-H, our neuronal injury and degeneration biomarker can be used to monitor axonal loss in blood samples of rodents with ALS, and we present preliminary data showing that the same is true for ALS patients. These findings suggest that it will be possible to monitor ALS progression and the effectiveness of therapies in both rodents and patients using our blood test.
March 2007: The large biotechnology company Millipore Corporation announces that they have licensed EnCor's pNF-H axonal injury biomarker assay. This is described in an article from Biocompare News which can be read here.
February 2007: We're in the local newspaper, the Gainesville Sun, again. The article is here, and describes how we recently moved out of the Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator run by the University of Florida, and set up our own independent laboratory and manufacturing facility.
January 2007: Our second biomarker paper "Comparison of two ELISA methods for measuring levels of the phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain" produced with a collaborator in the Institute of Neurology In London, shows that our commerically available pNF-H ELISA produces signals astonishingly similar to those produced by an ELISA developed independently in London. Significantly both assays provide potentially clinically useful information when used on CSF samples from a group of patients with various brain disorders. This report is published in the Journal of Immunological Methods.
November 2006: After some delays we finally move to our new location, Interstate Office Park, Suite 40, 4949 SW 41st Boulevard, Gainesville, Florida 32608. This is part of a new office/warehouse complex and gives us considerably more room and puts us much closer to the University of Florida. Our new phone number is 352 372 7022 and our fax number is 352 372 7066. Email contact remains the same.
October 2006: We present our latest biomarker research at the Society for Neuroscience Annual meeting, this time held in Atlanta. We present for the first time our findings that pNF-H can be readily detected in the blood of mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis (experimental allergic encephalomyelitis). In both cases we can detect axonal degeneration before any symptoms are visible. We also showed that our biomarker shows considerable promise in the detection of pNF-H in both human CSF and blood of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients. For and abstract of this talk see here.
June 2006: We release antibodies to Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase 1, a useful marker of neurons and neuronal lineage cells. Also antibodies to Myelin Basic Protein. Appropriately, since this is the 35 anniversary of the first publication of the ELISA technique (see the NPR segment on that here), we release our first ELISA for biomarker research, our pNF-H ELISA kit, which allows the sensitive detection of the phosphorylated, axonal forms of the major neurofilament subunit NF-H. This can be used to detect this protein in extracts of tissues and in a variety of other situations, including in the blood and CSF of animals given experimental injuries or animal models of human neurodegerative disease states.
March 2006: Our biomarker research is the subject of another TV segment, this time on WIStv of Columbia, South Carolina, who also put a page describing the segment on the internet which can be seen here. This page displays the text of segment and also has a link to the actual program. In another development, we have posted some of our protocols and useful computer programs on our company website (see http://www.encorbio.com/protocols.htm). The computer programs are designed to help researchers perform some of the error prone calculations needed in typical lab work, and many of them are as far as we know unique. These protocols and programs are generating rapidly increasing numbers of hits on our site, and several other internet sites now link to them, such as for example Protocol Online. We are happy to let other scientists use these resources and also of course happy to get a little free publicity.
November 2005: Our biomarker research is described by the University of Florida News and other local web sites and news organizations (see for example the Gainesville Sun article and the Health and Medicine News article). The information in these articles forms the basis for reports in several national on-line and hard copy news organizations, including the Reuters Health Information web site and the journal Neurology. We also give a talk describing some of recent Biomarker research at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.
September 2005: We make an oral presentation describing our biomarker research at the 4th International Conference on Biochemical Markers for Brain Damage at Boothbay Harbor in Maine. This is the first oral presentation of this material at an international scientific meeting. Our first paper entitled "Hyperphosphorylated neurofilament NF-H is a serum biomarker of axonal injury" on this work is published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications and is now listed in Medline.
August 2005: We form a strategic partnership with Aves Labs, of Tigard, Oregon. This partnership will allow us to generate more of our popular chicken antibodies more quickly and efficiently. We will also market some of antibodies made by Aves labs. Also our first biomarker paper is now accepted for publication in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. The paper describes assay development and research performed by EnCor in collaboration with research scientists in the Universities of Florida and Kentucky. The assay can be used to easily and sensitively detect axonal injury from a blood sample, a significant breakthrough. The paper will appear on line in a few weeks. We also make available a very useful Pan-specific nuclear pore complex monoclonal antibody.
April 2005: EnCor announces the production of a new rabbit antibody to Myristoylated Alanine Rich C Kinase Substrate (MARCKS), which works extremely well both immunocytochemically and on western blots. Also a new rabbit antibody to the actin and phospholipase C binding protein Coronin 1a/p57.
January 2005: EnCor announces the production of a high specificity antibody to neurofilament NF-L, made in chicken, suitable for immunocytochemistry, western blotting and ELISA assays for biomarker research.
December 2004: Our first biomarker patent is now officially pending. This is entitled "Assessing neuronal damage from blood samples", and is authored by Gerry Shaw, CSO of EnCor, and a collaborator, Dr. Brian Pike, now working at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. This patent describes how EnCor's antibodies can be used in a sensitive enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) to detect proteins derived from damaged and degenerating axons. This assay and others based on it can be used to rapidly and simply measure the degree of axonal injury as a result of damage or disease in experimental animals or humans.
November 2004: EnCor announces the production of several more antibodies, including antibodies made in chicken specific for a-internexin and peripherin. These proteins are major components of the nervous system and antibodies to them have been widely used to classify neuronal cell types and examine neuronal responses to injury. These antibodies, and several others at the final stages of characterization will be available for shipping in early December.
October 2004: EnCor scientists and their collaborators present new data on our biomarker research at the 2004 Society for Neuroscience meeting, held in San Diego 23-27 October by the Society for Neuroscience. This very large international meeting was the venue for the first detailed description of EnCor's new biomarker research and associated technologies. Abstracts of this work can be seen here.
August 2004: EnCor announces that Universal Biologicals (Cambridge) Ltd., will act as a distributor for EnCor products in the United Kingdom. Universal Biologicals aggressively markets products made by several companies situated in the U.S.A. for the U.K. market.
June 2004: EnCor signs a contract with StemCell Technologies, who will also market EnCor products with relevance to the rapidly growing field of stem cell research. StemCell is a growing company specializing in this area, and is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
May 2004: EnCor signs a contract with Covance Research Products, who will market a series of EnCor products. Covance is a major biotechnology company centered around the Berkeley campus in California. EnCor also signs a contract with the University of Florida Research Foundation to exclusively license the patent applied for in March 2004.
April 2004: EnCor announces the availability of three new high quality polyclonal antibodies made in chicken which recognize Microtubule associated protein 2 (MAP2), Neurofilament NF-M and Vimentin. These are particularly useful to neuroscientists and other cell biologists for double and triple labeling studies and work very well on tissues of transgenic and knock out mice.
March 2004: EnCor researchers file a patent describing a novel and simple method of detecting the degree of neuronal injury in humans and other mammals using only a small blood sample. This method uses EnCor antibodies in an enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) and will be developed into a commercial assay for use by researchers.
February 2004: EnCor announces the signing of a contract with Società Italiana Chimici Srl, who will distribute EnCor products in Italy and neighboring countries.
December 2003: EnCor announces the signing of contracts with Novus Biologicals Inc., Proteus BioSciences and Immuquest, all of which will market certain of EnCors products. Novus is located in Littleton, Colorado, Proteus in San Diego and Immuquest in Cleveland in the north of England.
September 2003: EnCor announces the signing of a contract with the University of Florida Research Foundation. This contract will allow EnCor to manufacture and market 25 monoclonal antibody reagents generated in the laboratories of Drs. Maurice Swanson and Gerry Shaw. The Swanson antibodies include several specific for mammalian nuclear and RNA binding proteins, as well as certain yeast proteins. The Shaw lab antibodies include several very widely used immunoreagents already marketed through several other companies. These immunoreagents will be ready for marketing at the end of 2003.
July 2003: EnCor announces the signing of a contract with Abcam to market some of of EnCor's new products. Abcam is based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom and is one the largest antibody vendors in Europe.
June 2003: EnCor Biotechnology Inc. announces the signing of contracts with the University of Florida Research Foundation to commercialize 10 monoclonal antibodies made in the laboratory of Dr. John Aris, a well respected professor at the University. Dr. Aris received some of his training in the laboratory of Dr. Günter Blobel, a Nobel prize winning scientist at the Rockefeller Institute. The antibodies Dr. Aris has made are world famous for their quality, and EnCor is pleased to handle the marketing of these excellent products. EnCor also announces that Funakoshi Company Ltd. will be the exclusive distributor of EnCor products for the Japanese market. Funakoshi is a long established and well respected distributor of research products in Japan. Finally, EnCor announces the signing of a contract with Chemicon International Inc. to market some of of EnCor's products. This will include some of the at present unique chicken antibody products described above, as well as some further immunoreagents currently under development. Chemicon is one of the largest supplier of antibodies in the United States.
May 2003: EnCor Biotechnology Inc. announces the availability of new high quality antibodies to Neurofilament NF-H and Glial filament proteins made in chicken. These antibodies can be used to identify neuronal and glial cells or their processes in a variety of situations, and should be very useful for scientists interested in identifying these cellular components. Since the antibodies are made in chicken, they can be used on knock out and transgenic mice tissues, where mouse monoclonal antibodies are problematic. They are also useful for double and triple label immunocytochemistry in combination with mouse and rabbit antibodies.