Meet our partner Olink

Olink’s time is now!

Uppsala company a major player in precision medicine.

Precision medicine is said to be changing the nature of diagnosing and treating disease. One very well-known player expanding within this ‘hot’ area is Uppsala BIO’s partner Olink Proteomics.

Olink Proteomics intends to become a major player in the discovery, development and implementation of protein biomarkers as critical tools of precision medicine. The company is growing rapidly, partly geographically through new customer segments and partly through new product launches. And everything is happening fast and right now! The fact that the company hosted a successful international symposium this summer is further proof that Olink has established itself as an important driving force in precision medicine.

“A dream to be involved”

Some may still associate Olink with a small start-up venture, but in fact, the company now has a very stable customer base. Turnover has doubled several years running and the business has shown black figures since 2017. Currently, Olink Proteomics has 87 employees. In the expansive phase that now exists, it expects to employ an additional 20–25 people over the next two years.

Andrea Ballagi, Olink
Andrea Ballagi, VP Sales & Marketing at Olink Proteomics.

“It’s a dream being involved in this growth trip,” says Andrea Ballagi, VP Sales & Marketing at Olink Proteomics. “Very few people get to experience such a success story.”

Based on Ulf Landegren’s research

Based on the pioneering research of Professor Ulf Landegren and his group at Uppsala University, Olink was founded in 2004. The company has a successful history of developing molecular technologies with a broad IP portfolio.

Many of these have been commercialised via out-licensing to industry-leading partners such as Affymetrix and Life Technologies, as well as through spin-out companies Q-linea and Halo Genomics (now part of Agilent). Olink sold its successful Duolink product line for in situ detection of proteins to Sigma-Aldrich in 2015.

Following a company reorganisation in April 2016, Olink Proteomics now focuses entirely on developing and expanding its platform of high-multiplex immunoassay panels for protein biomarker discovery, development and implementation into clinical use, while Olink Bioscience is responsible for the development and commercialisation of the remaining extensive, expanding and diverse Olink IP portfolio.

Well established in high-multiplex immunoassays

Olink Proteomics is headquartered in Uppsala, with a regional office and service laboratory for the US organisation in Watertown, MA. Today, the company is well established in its niche of high-multiplex immunoassays, where growth is driven by a transition from ‘technology-driven genomics’ to new possibilities for better understanding the processes driving health and disease.

Olink Proteomics has panels in a wide range of clinical areas that help researchers and pharmaceutical companies worldwide to find more effective biomarkers for prediction, prognosis, stratification of patients, etc.

By not only reliably analysing the genome, but a large part of the proteome as well, it is hoped that the drug development process will become more efficient and much more specific, thus enabling future precision medications to emerge sooner.

Symposium with world-leading names

Clear evidence that Olink has now established itself as one of the leading players in precision medicine is that the company organised, together with Professor Mathias Uhlen, the ‘Precision Proteomics to Drive Personalized Medicine’ international symposium this summer at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm.

“The move to more stratified medicine that delivers the right treatment to the right patient at the right time represents the next great movement for global healthcare, but also a colossal challenge for science.”
Professor Mathias Uhlén

“Thanks to Olink Proteomics’ strong brand recognition in this field, plus the well-known achievements of Swedish life science, we were able to attract world-leading names to attend and participate in the symposium. We are very proud indeed,” says Andrea Ballagi.

The event provided a forum featuring presentations from leading researchers in the field where academia and industry could exchange views and forge collaborations, interactions that are essential for the future of global healthcare.

It focused on how protein biomarker-based strategies can influence and drive the development of a more stratified approach to healthcare and help realise the potential of precision medicine.

 Annual event in the future

“The Stockholm symposium created a huge interest in the community and although attendance was strictly invitation only, we soon had a waiting list. This demonstrates the need for such an international event,” says Andrea Ballagi. “The impact of protein biomarkers on the future of global healthcare is immense. To build a major network for future collaborations and further enhance Precision Proteomics, we plan to make the symposium an annual event in the future.”

 

How Precision medicine relates to Personalized medicine

According to the US Precision Medicine Initiative, the aim of Precision medicine is to allow doctors and researchers to predict more accurately which treatment and prevention strategies for a particular disease will work best in which groups of people.

When the term Personalized medicine was first introduced, it tended to be presented as allowing doctors to treat every single person based on his/hers genetic individualities.

The US National Research Council has emphasized that Precision medicine does not literally mean the creation of drugs or medical devices that are unique to one specific patient. However, since the term Precision medicine can be extended to also cover creating unique medical products for particular individuals, it overlaps with Personalized medicine and the two are often used interchangeably.

Helena Ströberg, M.Sc., Business Development. “I am passionate about creating opportunities so that players in the life science industry become more successful, thus contributing to growth in our region as well as in Sweden.”

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