Abcam acquires Firefly Bio

New multiplex assay technology for RNA and protein quantitation

Following the acquisition of Firefly BioWorks, we’re pleased to offer researchers new technologies for miRNA research.

Abcam provides many antibody-based tools that enable researchers to measure the level of specific modified or unmodified proteins in tissues or biological fluids. The goal of our combined companies will be to offer multiplex assay products that allow researchers to conveniently and cost-effectively measure many miRNA or protein analytes simultaneously.

Performing experiments where tens of miRNAs or proteins need to be measured in tens or hundreds of samples is challenging. For miRNA, techniques such as RNA-Seq and microarray analysis work well for assessing genome-wide changes in miRNA levels, but are too costly and data-intensive to use with large sample numbers. Quantitative PCR, which works well for smaller numbers of analytes and samples, becomes costly and labor-intensive when performed with larger numbers.

Firefly has developed proprietary hydrogel particles that are individually coded and can be read by standard laboratory flow cytometers. Key advantages of the approach include multiplex analysis of up to 68 miRNAs at the same time in a small sample volume, and direct quantitation of miRNA in biological fluids (serum, plasma, urine) without RNA purification. Firefly also provides software that simplifies assay setup and data analysis.

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