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Athebio Makes the Impossible Possible with Aptean GenomeQuest

Athebio Makes the Impossible Possible with Aptean GenomeQuest


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Athebio Makes the Impossible Possible with Aptean GenomeQuest

Jan 12, 2022


  • Advanced Sequence Variation Search Capability Unlocks Innovation for Biotech Start-Up

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Athebio AG is an expert in the field of repeat protein design and selection with in-depth experience in drug research and development. By developing advanced binding molecules based on repeat proteins, Athebio empowers drug developers to fill their pipelines with innovative drug candidates, enabling the creation of next generation biologics.

At the heart of Athebio’s commitment to radical innovation lies in-depth research into DARPins (designed ankyrin repeat proteins) therapeutics. Crucial to this research and Athebio’s future development of tailor-made repeat proteins is the ability to see all possible variants in the patent landscape, something that was proving impossible to achieve.  

Lorenz Kallenbach, Board Member & Co-founder at Athebio explains: “We had experience across the business of different sequence search providers, including tools that are available for free on the internet and also a lot of commercial providers, but we couldn’t achieve the granularity of search that we needed, namely the ability to filter searches by specifying single residues.”

Aptean GenomeQuest: A Unique Offering

The business began looking for a suitable solution to address this issue, conducting a thorough assessment of the different tools available. It found just one system on the market that provided the functionality it needed: Aptean GenomeQuest.

Aptean GenomeQuest is the world’s largest intellectual property sequence database that uses proprietary, state-of-the-art sequence comparison algorithms for in-depth search and analysis. It’s based on an informatics engine that allows for strong mining including variations and, crucially for Athebio, it allows rapid and comprehensive IP landscapes through sequence and variation search.

Lorenz continues: “Most importantly, GenomeQuest provides the sequence variation module, which enables us to filter searches by specifying single residues. Previously, trying to do similar searches with existing tools would have turned up millions of results, which were simply impossible to wade through from a time and resource point of view. GenomeQuest refines results to such an extent that it’s quick and easy to see the precise information we need within minutes. Ultimately, it’s made the impossible possible.”

Increased, In-Depth Insights

As well, GenomeQuest enables the collection of data insights on a single-base level or over a large amount of data, allowing more thorough analyses to be conducted than on public platforms, resulting in a shorter time frame to data insights. Also, the ability to specify certain sequences identified in search results was another feature that appealed to Athebio, representing an algorithm that isn’t offered by other search solutions.

Lorenz noted: “The capability to create our own sequence database was another compelling feature of GenomeQuest. It provides the ability to search through research and articles that aren’t included in public databases, mining them for information and adding them to our own database. We can search more information than ever before, with GenomeQuest giving us access to around 500 million patent sequences, many of which simply aren’t available on public sites.”

The Aptean Advantage

Aside from the unique, advanced functionality provided by GenomeQuest, the support and advice Athebio received from Aptean was instrumental in the business’s choice to invest in the solution, as well as the usability of the system itself.

Lorenz explains: “The support we’ve had from Aptean has been excellent, with the team at Aptean proving very supportive and most responsive to the various queries and questions we’ve had along the way. The system itself is intuitive, easy-to-use and stable, without any of the glitches we’ve experienced with other solutions.”

In terms of future plans, Athebio can see an expanded role for GenomeQuest within the business, rolling it out to its team of scientists too, going beyond IP value and sparking innovation through the advanced filtering options available.

Lorenz concludes: “Long term we want to investigate how we can integrate GenomeQuest with our other systems, looking to combine different data sets for example. We know we now have the best solution in place for our business, with GenomeQuest underpinning our ability to spark innovation and revolutionise the way drug discovery is done today.”


To find out how Aptean GenomeQuest could help your business, contact us today.

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