MIP Diagnostics Ltd was founded in 2015 as a spin out from the University of Leicester by several leading experts in the field, in order to commercialise various forms of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers.
Their innovative approach involves synthesis of MIP (Molecularly Imprinted Polymer) nanoparticles in the presence of whole protein, partial proteolysis of the protein bound to MIP, and subsequent sequencing of released peptides that were bound to the polymer. The important concept behind this approach is that MIPs synthesised in the presence of protein protect peptide sequences involved in MIP formation from proteolysis. This approach is both rapid (results in circa two weeks) and offers the opportunity to identify regions on the protein surface that have not yet been demonstrated to be antigenic in vivo, but which may offer improved affinity for natural and synthetic receptors.
MIP Diagnostics’ approach could also revolutionise the generation of binding molecules for the in vitro diagnostics industry. Typically, antibodies are generated at random and subsequently mapped to the molecule – this approach identifies good epitopes that can then be used to produce the binding molecules in a fraction of the me currently taken. This approach has been proven in multiple applications. In particular, for Acetyl Cholinesterase, this approach identified all known epitopes, plus an additional three peptide sequences as potential novel epitopes.