VTT Technical Research Center of Finland has launched a spin-off company, Zora Biosciences Oy. "Zora's speciality field of metabolomics is a major driver of biomedical and pharmaceutical research", says Matej Orešic, founder and chairman of the board.
Zora's business model is two-fold. Zora will provide sophisticated laboratory services to pharmaceutical industry in the area of metabolomics and associated bioinformatics. Also, based on this advanced laboratory expertise Zora will develop prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers for human diseases as well as drug safety and efficacy monitoring.
Zora will aggressively expand its biomarker portfolio for licensing the discoveries to laboratory assay providers. At present, Zora's biomarker portfolio includes a promising discovery for screening patients susceptible to side effects of statins, which are powerful cholesterol lowering drugs. Statin medication is used by millions world-wide as part of their treatment regimen for cardiovascular diseases. Zora is also developing prognostic and diagnostics tools for improved healthcare management of diabetes and coronary artery disease among other indication areas.
Zora is funded by VTT, Slovenian private investor Gomar D.D., and Seedcap II Ky, managed by Innofinance Oy. "Zora has strong potential for rapid business growth and internationalization, which has attracted a committed investor base for the company", says Reini Hurme, Zora CEO. Globally there is only a handful of companies specializing in metabolomics, in the Nordic countries Zora is the only one.
Zora Biosciences Oy
Zora Biosciences offers advanced laboratory services for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of metabolomics and bioinformatics. Based on this advanced laboratory competence, Zora also develops prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers for disease diagnosis and monitoring of the efficacy and safety of drugs.
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
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