RNA array technology

Lead Research Organisation: University of Portsmouth
Department Name: Inst of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sc

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Analysing the manner in which RNAs interact with other molecules is fundamental to novel drug discovery and a key enabler in supporting BBSRC's systems biology drive to unravel the transcriptome. The most efficient manner of achieving this analysis would be to probe an RNA array, containing hundreds of different RNAs of any size immobilised in spots on a surface. The generation of such RNA arrays is currently impossible as RNA is prone to degradation and intolerant to the chemical immobilisation conditions used to make analogous DNA arrays. An innovative, yet simple concept has been demonstrated for the creation of RNA arrays. Specifically, we have obtained proof of concept data providing evidence for a robust, commercially relevant patent application, which has been submitted.
Exploitation Route The whole purpose of this grant is to promote the exploitation and commercialisation of the novel technology into a non-academic context (industry). As such, the exploitation route is as described in the section above and the final commercial product will allow the fundamental analysis of RNA molecules to be conducted within the pharmaceutical industry. Working with the Portsmouth University's Research and Knowledge Transfer Office, and following IP and market assessment investigations, the technology has been estimated to have significant market value. A patent application has been filed to protect the technology. With clear IP and market identified, we are currently working with commercialisation consultants who are engaging with relevant sectors of industry. While commercial exploitation is being pursued, we are now actively exploiting this technology in house for research purposes with a view to submitting a manuscript in the near future.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description The findings resulted in a patent application, which has now been granted in Europe and the US, and on-going collaborative discussions with interested commercial partners. The research also leveraged further investment to explore wider applications of the technology.
 
Description BBSRC Tools and Resources Development Fund
Amount £152,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/L017628/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description BBSRC responsive mode - APP Project
Amount £360,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 11/2018
 
Description DigiLab Global Equipment Provision
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation DigiLab Global 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 11/2015 
 
Description E3 - Co-Applicant
Amount £5,800,000 (GBP)
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Research England
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 07/2022
 
Description Follow-on Funding Research Grant
Amount £202,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S004947/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description ICURe (Innovation to Commercialise University Research)
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 04/2016
 
Description IMPRESS (EPSRC & NIHR-HTC) Collaborative Grant (Co-I Applicant)
Amount £31,855 (GBP)
Organisation University of Leeds 
Department IMPRESS
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 05/2018
 
Description Innovation to Commercialise University Research (ICURe) Award
Amount £35,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2020 
End 04/2021
 
Description Provision of gapmer reagents
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Ionis Pharmaceuticals 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 09/2019 
End 08/2022
 
Description Provision of test materials and staff time
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation BioCopy 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 11/2019 
End 01/2020
 
Description Rosetrees Trust (Co-I Applicant)
Amount £29,754 (GBP)
Organisation Rosetrees Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 02/2020
 
Description University of Portsmouth Higher Education Innovation Fund
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Portsmouth 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2012 
End 09/2014
 
Description University of Portsmouth Higher Education Innovation Fund
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Portsmouth 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 07/2015
 
Description University of Portsmouth Strategic Research Fund
Amount £11,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Portsmouth 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 01/2012
 
Title Novel RNA Array Technology 
Description Proof-of-concept for a method for generating RNA arrays has been devised. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact A patent on the method has been filed. 
 
Title RNA-Tagging 
Description A novel method for tagging RNA for surface immobilisation has been devised. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The RNA-tagging approach has been published to allow others to use the method. 
 
Description Collaboration with BioCopy 
Organisation BioCopy
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution BioCopy make DNA and protein arrays, as well as using them for commercial research projects. Discussions around possible alignment of their array technologies with Portsmouth's RNA array technology is ongoing. Myself and my team hosted a research scientist from BioCopy to work with us on experiments to explore the potential compatibility of the two different technologies.
Collaborator Contribution BioCopy make DNA and protein arrays, as well as using them for commercial research projects. Discussions around possible alignment of their array technologies with Portsmouth's RNA array technology is ongoing. BioCopy provided array slides with novel surfaces and a research scientist to visit and work with the Portsmouth team to explore potential compatibility between the different technologies.
Impact On-going
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with DigiLab Global 
Organisation DigiLab Global
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaboration with DigiLab Global is allowing researchers on the project to access specific instrumentation. This is allowing them to explore and develop automated approaches within the context of our patented novel surface technology.
Collaborator Contribution DigiLab Global provided specific instrumentation to support the research as well as their unique expertise in relation to instrumentation support.
Impact This research is on-going. The disciplines involved include biochemistry and molecular biology coupled with instrumentation engineering expertise.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Dr John Young at the University of Portsmouth 
Organisation University of Portsmouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Work to expand the utility of the RNA array has involved exploring its potential use as an RNA-based biosensor.
Collaborator Contribution Work to translate a novel overactive bladder biomarker fingerprint (discovered by Dr John Young's team) into a non-invasive diagnostic test is being explored through application of the RNA array technology as a biosensor.
Impact Two collaborative grants have been secured together to fund joint working on this project. Specifically: IMPRESS (EPSRC and NIHR-HTC) = £31,855 to work on 'Translation of a novel overactive bladder 'fingerprint' into a breakthrough non-invasive diagnostic test' and Rosetrees Trust = £29,754 to work on 'Developing a novel non-invasive overactive bladder diagnostic test'.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Dr Jon Watts at the RNA Therapeutics Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School. 
Organisation University of Massachusetts
Department University of Massachusetts Medical School
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Researchers in my team have been testing RNA inhibitors synthesised by researchers in Dr Watts' team on a collaborative project.
Collaborator Contribution Researchers in Dr Watts' team synthesised potential RNA inhibitors which they provided to my team for testing.
Impact Seed corn funding has been leveraged from the University of Portsmouth to support preliminary data collection on this project.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with Dr Stuart Conway, Oxford University 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research collaboration
Start Year 2009
 
Description Collaboration with Horiba Scientific 
Organisation Horiba
Department Horiba Scientific
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaboration with Horiba Scientific to explore the use of a novel surface technology applicable to the research project.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Collaboration with Ionis Pharmaceuticals 
Organisation Ionis Pharmaceuticals
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Ionis Pharmaceuticals are a leading RNA Therapeutics company. They approached us to explore the potential of using the RNA array for screening gapmers binding to RNA targets and the efficiency of subsequent target degradation by RNaseH. A range of gapmers and test RNA sequences were provided and experiments are ongoing.
Collaborator Contribution Ionis Pharmaceuticals are a leading RNA Therapeutics company. They approached us to explore the potential of using the RNA array for screening gapmers binding to RNA targets and the efficiency of subsequent target degradation by RNaseH. Ionis Pharmaceuticals provided gapmers and test RNA sequences for the associated experimental work to be undertaken at Portsmouth.
Impact Experiments and discussions are on-going.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Collaboration with Nicolas Locker, Surrey University 
Organisation University of Surrey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research collaboration - Myself and my team brought our RNA and molecular expertise to the collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Locker brings expertise in virology.
Impact Dr Locker has been a collaborator for many years, involved in the original grant developing the RNA array technology, and associated output. More recently, working together, we secured a Covid-19 grant to support studies to develop a wastewater biosensor for detecting SARS-CoV2. We each bring our differing areas of expertise, with Dr Locker specifically providing virology input to support the work proposed.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Collaboration with Prof. Denise Bazzolli at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa 
Organisation Federal University of Viçosa
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team are undertaking molecular interaction studies guided by microbiology data provided by Prof. Bazzolli's team.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Bazzolli's team are providing microbiology data and expertise.
Impact One of Prof. Bazzolli's team has secured funding to undertake a year-long placement in my research group to support this collaboration.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Prof. Paul Langford at Imperial College London 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team are conducting in vitro molecular interaction studies, and exploring the applicability of utilising our patented novel array technology, to explore cellular mechanisms within bacteria.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Langford's team provide microbiology expertise and access to in vivo testing studies.
Impact A joint BBSRC grant was secured to support this collaborative research.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Storm Therapeutics 
Organisation STORM Therapeutics Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Work to expand the utility of the RNA array into the field of RNA epigenetics.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in RNA epigenetics.
Impact Research grant funding to support joint working.
Start Year 2018
 
Title METHOD OF IMMOBILISING RNA ONTO A SURFACE 
Description A novel method to generate RNA arrays was developed. 
IP Reference WO2012156718 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed No
Impact - Discussions, under NDA, are on-going with interested companies. - Academic collaborations are supporting the further development of the technology.
 
Title METHOD OF IMMOBILISING RNA ONTO A SURFACE 
Description The invention relates to a method of immobilising at least one RNA molecule onto a surface of a support comprising: i) providing a first support having a surface on which at least one DNA molecule is immobilised, wherein the DNA molecule encodes an RNA molecule and the encoded RNA molecule comprises a binding molecule; ii) providing a second support having a surface on which at least one binding partner for interacting with the binding molecule is immobilised; iii) arranging the first and second supports such that the surfaces displaying the immobilised molecules are in close proximity and substantially face each other, and contacting the DNA molecule immobilised on the surface of the first support with transcription reagents; and iv) carrying out a transcription reaction to generate the encoded RNA molecule, wherein the RNA molecule is directly immobilised onto the surface of the second support via an interaction between the binding molecule of the RNA molecule and the binding partner on the surface of the second support. 
IP Reference US2014087972 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed No
Impact Discussions around licensing/commercialisation with industry partners are presently ongoing.
 
Title METHOD OF IMMOBILISING RNA ONTO A SURFACE 
Description Understanding, manipulating and controlling the flow of genetic information, essential to life, lies at the heart of basic and applied research within the biosciences community. An ability to rapidly analyse the RNA and protein outputs of gene expression, in a high throughput manner, would therefore be of significant value to researchers in the field. Supporting discoveries as diverse as RNA translation inhibitor identification for therapeutic effect, to developing artificial switches for synthetic biology applications, the possibilities of such a novel technology are immense. Our innovative patented approach involves using a DNA array to generate high density functional RNA arrays. The RNA array can be used as a platform for investigating RNA based interactions e.g. probing with labelled binding partners, exploring RNA modifications, for biosensor development/utility etc. Alternatively, the process of transcription can be explored for numerous RNA targets, in high throughput, for example screening for transcription inhibitors or promotor efficiency, using RNA array generation as a read out signal. By an analogous approach, a further utility of the RNA arrays is that they can be used to generate protein arrays. Whilst the approach can be used to generate protein arrays for multi protein studies, uniquely the process of translation can be explored for numerous protein targets, in high throughput. For example, screening for translation inhibitors or translational efficiency studies can be carried out, using reporter protein array generation as a read out signal. 
IP Reference EP2732047 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2014
Licensed No
Impact Discussions around licensing/commercialisation with industry partners are presently ongoing.
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with BioCopy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Commercialisation discussions to explore potential utilities/applications of the array technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with Cambridge Protein Arrays 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation and discussions on 'Novel RNA Array Technology' to Cambridge Protein Arrays, December 2013.

Effective networking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with DigiLab Global. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation and discussions on the 'Novel RNA Array Technology' to DigiLab Global, January 2014. This lead to them visiting our labs and observing the RNA Array Technology process. DigiLab Global subsequently supported further research in this area by supplying equipment to explore automation approaches.

Effective networking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with Horiba Scientific 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation and discussions on the 'Novel RNA Array Technology' to Horiba Scientific. The company funding our attendance at their site in France to undertake some collaborative experiments to explore possible opportunities.

Effective networking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with Ionis Pharmaceuticals 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Commercialisation discussions to explore potential utilities/applications of the array technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with Scienion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Commercialisation discussions to explore potential utilities/applications of the array technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with TTPLabtech 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Commercialisation discussions with TTPLabtech.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Commercialisation discussions with Twist Bioscience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Commercialisation discussions to explore potential utilities/applications of the array technology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Maintaining an Active Online Presence 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact My group has an active Twitter account with around 200 followers. We publish highlights from our research, outreach and engagement activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Patented Array Technology Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact My group has a specific website highlighting our innovative patented array technology to potential commercial partners/business users.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Promoting PG study 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation by members of my research team at various departmental events for undergraduates to promote engagement in postgraduate study. this involved the individuals highlighting their research work, including their day to day work, opportunities for collaboration and engagement as well as their outputs and impact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Science Fairs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Myself and my team have participated in supporting a number of Science Fairs in the region, engaging with attendees to promote science and the research we undertake.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description University Open Days 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Myself and my team regularly support University Open days. Activities can be many and varied, including giving talks, presenting posters, running hands-on laboratory demonstrations and engaging in question and answer sessions. There are usually a number of these events per year, with over 100 participants (schools and college students, sometimes accompanied by a parent/guardian) attending each event. Feedback from such events has highlighted our success in inspiring the next generation of scientists and has been specifically linked to an increase in the number of students applying to study Biochemistry over the last few years.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016