Our Technology

 

The activity of target nucleases is a hallmark of infections and other diseases that can be detected by designing specific and highly sensitive oligonucleotide probes that generate a response/signal when cleaved by the enzyme.
The detection of nuclease activity is the differential element that SOMAprobes exploits to develop its oligonucleotide probes. These probes are versatile and can be implemented on standard immunoassay platforms including lateral flow, point-of-care devices, and mid- and high-throughput platforms present in every hospital laboratory.

1.

Biomarker discovery (Nuclease)

2.

Oligonucleotide substrate characterization

3.

Implementation of detection system

Applications of our technology

SOMAprobes’ technology enables a novel, differential and versatile IVD platform with broad application:

Infectious diseases

Human conditions

Other

Immunoassay Platforms

Detection Methods

Our technology has the advantage of being easily adaptable to any immunoassay technique.

News

Somaprobes: Gipuzkoa-based start-up revolutionizes COVID-19 testing with European support

March 8, 2021

The start-up Somaprobes was founded in Guipúzcoa in 2014 by Frank Hernández and Luiza Hernández. This start-up aims to accelerate the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer or sepsis through rapid tests.
Among the different projects developed by this entity is a diagnostic technology based on nucleases. The surprise came when, with the appearance of COVID-19, the team detected that this virus had two genetic markers, one of them a nuclease. Research, work and motivation led them to what they know as Corona-test.

Read more >

Publications

Discovery and Proof-of-Concept Study of Nuclease Activity as a Novel Biomarker for Breast Cancer Tumors

2021

A diagnostic biomarker for the detection of breast cancer remains an unmet clinical need despite decades of intensive research efforts. Herein, we describe, for the first time, the use of nuclease activity as a biomarker to discriminate between healthy and cancer biopsy samples. We have identified a panel of three nucleic acid probes able to target nucleases derived from breast cancer tumors with high sensitivity and specificity. These results are in good agreement with histopathological analysis as the diagnostic gold standard.

Download article >

Rapid and specific detection of Salmonella infections using chemically modified nucleic acid probes

2019

We are the first to postulate the nuclease activity derived from Salmonella as biomarker of infection and its utility to develop innovative detection strategies. Our results have shown the screening and identification of two oligonucleotide sequences (substrates) as the most promising probes for detecting Salmonella e Sal-3 and Sal-5. The detection limits for both probes were determined with the reference Salmonella Typhimurium (STM 1) and Salmonella Enteritidis (SE 1) cultures.

Download article >

Nuclease activity as a specific biomarker for breast cancer

2016

We report on the activity of nucleases derived from cancer cells as a means for specific targeting using nucleic acid probes (substrates). We hypothesize that cancer cells can be differentiated from healthy cells based on their nuclease activity profile, and thus, any method based on this property represents a novel alternative for diagnostic and therapeutic intervention.

Download article >

Noninvasive imaging of Staphylococcus aureus infections with a nuclease-activated probe

2014

Technologies that enable the rapid detection and localization of bacterial infections in living animals could address an unmet need for infectious disease diagnostics. We describe a molecular imaging approach for the specific, noninvasive detection of S. aureus based on the activity of the S. aureus secreted nuclease, micrococcal nuclease (MN). Several short synthetic oligonucleotides, rendered resistant to mammalian serum nucleases by various chemical modifications and flanked with a fluorophore and quencher, were activated upon degradation by purified MN and in S. aureus culture supernatants.

Download article >