PeptAIm digital platform - an innovation in diagnostic test development

Over 5.6 million for 2 UG spin-offs: QSAR LAB and NANOEXPO and the Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine for the creation of a digital platform enabling the design and development of molecular diagnostic tests, both for known diseases and newly emerging ones, such as COVID-19.

Two Pomeranian companies, QSAR Lab and NanoExpo, as well as the Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, have received a grant from the National Centre for Research and Development of more than PLN 5.6 million in a competition to fund innovative research and development activities.

In the face of new, rapidly spreading diseases, such as COVID-19, the rapid development of diagnostic tests may help to contain the epidemic and mitigate its negative effects on humans and the economy. The key to developing such tests is to find proteins that will bind to disease-specific pathogens (e.g. viruses or bacteria). The Pomeranian companies' project aims to create software based on machine learning and artificial intelligence methods, whose task will be to select such receptor-ligand pairs, characterised by high affinity and matching. The selection of such peptides is essential for the development of diagnostic tests, which would allow the selective detection of specific proteins. The software will be characterised by a wide spectrum of applications, such as diagnostics of viral and bacterial pathogens, but also diagnostics of cancer, neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases.

The project is a consequence of the synergy of various fields of knowledge and experience of valued specialists. While creating the heart of the project - i.e. a specialised algorithm, methods of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will be applied, which will significantly reduce the cost, time and computing power needed to conduct analyses.

QSAR Lab Sp. z o.o. is a research and development (R&D) company offering a range of specialised services in the field of computational chemistry. Its founders are research workers of the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Gdańsk. Research conducted by the company is based on computational chemistry methods. The QSAR Lab team consists of specialists in chemistry and bioinformatics, nanotechnology, toxicology and machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for chemistry, pharmacy and BioMed sector.

NanoExpo Sp. z o.o. is also an R&D company that offers a range of services in the field of biotechnology: bioengineering, nanotechnology, molecular diagnostics, virology, cell culture and toxicology. The core of NanoExpo is a highly qualified research staff with many years of experience gained among others at the University of Gdańsk. A wide network of scientific contacts of NanoExpo allows for an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to conducted research and services.

Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (IBMM) is an independent research institution forming an elite biomedical research centre. IBMM's activity is focused on conducting innovative and novel projects of implementation and basic character. The scope of IBMM activities includes, among others, biotechnology, medicine, diagnostics, molecular biology and materials engineering.

Julia Bereszczyńska/Press Office of University of Gdańsk