New innovations in carbohydrate standards for life science research
Have you ever felt frustrated when you buy something that turns out not to be exactly what you expect? Imagine how annoying it is when your purchase is an expensive chemical standard, and you have to spend more time purifying it than actually using it in your experiments. This is the problem KTH reseachers Amparo Jiménez Quero and Lauren McKee want to solve.
MycOligo combines the expertise of two KTH scientists, Amparo Jiménez Quero and Lauren McKee, on carbohydrate technology and enzyme discovery.
- We understood the need in science for purer and more complex standards of fungal carbohydrate oligomers, short chains of special sugar molecules that are useful for identifying types of fungus found in the environment or in a clinical infection, says Amparo Jiménez Quero. Yet often, the sugar standards needed are unavailable from any commercial supplier. And the most similar products are likely to be impure, which makes it hard to interpret research data or the results of a diagnostic test. Even so, they are extremely expensive, putting them out of reach for many scientists who wish to develop products and techniques to benefit society.
Founding a company together
Together, Amparo Jiménez Quero and Lauren McKee are founding the company MycOligo with the aim to make the purchase of highly characterised and pure fungal carbohydrate standards more accessible for the scientific and biomedical communities.
They want to help scientists spend less time on the preparation and analysis of standards, so they can dedicate their time to their main research projects, ranging from developing the next generation of diagnostic devices for fungal infections or creating new antifungal medicines. Moreover, MycOligo focuses on using sustainable, eco-friendly methods to produce carbohydrate standards from fungal biomass, being able to generate products that other companies, who focus more on using plant biomass for production, cannot provide.
Technology with potential
Lauren McKee and Amparo Jiménez starting exploring their novel materials and manufacturing process and the patentability with support from KTH Innovation. They then applied to the KTH Innovation pre-incubator program last fall. Since then, they have received extended support from their business development coach Daniel Carlsson.
- It will be exciting to help the team explore the different market opportunities for this technology that holds great promise, says Daniel Carlsson, Business Development Coach at KTH Innovation. The team is really set to take their research out of the lab and into use on the market and we have already starting validating interest from potential customers.