Imagine a future where a healthcare provider is armed with insight into their patient’s current and future health outlook, all from one blood sample. This can become reality when we combine proteomic tests with existing care plans in the clinical setting. Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins — it involves understanding how proteins function and interact in the body. By examining proteins at the cellular level, proteomics allows providers to measure and track patient health risks holistically and in real time.
Since its inception in 1975, proteomics has grown in popularity among researchers, life science companies and universities. More recently, it has expanded across the healthcare setting, as people realize the value and power of proteomics, especially when compared with other -omics.
In this first article of a three-part series about the power of proteomics in healthcare and beyond, we’ll compare the two most known -omics — genomics and proteomics.
The study of genomes
|The study of protein network patterns|
Genes are constant and provide instructions for making proteins
Proteins are a product of genes and act as building blocks, messengers, and workers throughout a patient’s lifetime
Genes represent the blueprint for disease potential, however, they are not dynamic
|Proteins are dynamic and show us a snapshot of the body at any given moment in time|
Genetics reveal ancestry and lifetime risk of disease development, acting as the body’s initial instruction manual
|Proteins reflect environmental exposures, age, illness, drug administration, and other factors|
Genes can’t shed light on current health status, or how lifestyle and environment are affecting a patient’s health
|Proteins can shed light on current health status, or how lifestyle and environment are affecting a patient’s health|
Proteomics is the predictive partner to genomics, and proteomics builds on the promise of genomics.
There are notable differences between the two -omics, especially regarding the value they can each provide in the healthcare setting. By examining the human proteome, we can predict health status, the likelihood of severe events and future areas of concern. At the population health level, proteomics can advance protein profiling and biomarker discovery in disease research and development. At the individual level, proteomics can get us closer to providing precision medicine for patients.
Precision medicine gets the right care to the right patient at the right time to achieve optimal health outcomes. A proteomic test can reveal multiple answers to clinical questions that allow us to better predict, monitor and prevent the escalation of disease. This allows us to move the needle away from the practice of late-stage treatment and toward treating at-risk patients sooner and before a major health event.
Not all proteomic tests and tools are created equal. The largest commercially available proteomic assay — The SomaScan® Assay — measures 7,000 proteins and is quickly moving toward 10,000. In comparison, the second largest commercially available assay measures 1,000 proteins. This represents a significant difference in scale when there are approximately 20,000 proteins in the body. It’s important to measure as many proteins as possible because only 5-10% of diseases are purely genetic in origin. Markers for disease are more likely to be found by looking at a person’s proteins, which give insight into current and future state of health or disease.
New medicines, cures and frontiers that expand the longevity of life and advance human science can be discovered by looking at all the proteins in the body. Along with checking as many proteins as possible, proteomic measurements need to be reproducible, specific, dynamic and sensitive. SomaLogic excels in all these areas and boasts industry-leading reliability metrics with coefficient variations of less than 5%.
- Reproducible and Specific – With more coverage of the proteome than any other technology, the SomaScan platform offers actionable intelligence from data with higher throughput, enhanced specificity and unmatched reproducibility to advance research with passion and confidence.
- Reliable – In research, there is no room for variation, which is why SOMAmer reagents rely on a multifactorial approach of complementarity, slow off-rates and a universal polyanionic competitor to ensure the reliability work demands.
- Dynamic – A tiered dilution approach is used to measure proteins of very high abundance and very low abundance separately, such that a total range of 10 logs can be measured from just one vial of blood or serum.
- Sensitive – The tiered approach used for SomaScan measurements enables the detection of very rare proteins consistently without sample pre-treatment.
Enabled by the SomaScan Assay, SomaSignal™ tests accurately predict severe health events using comprehensive protein detection technology.
As tools continue trying to map more proteins, we are seeing the most complete view of all the proteins in the body. This data will give us the best picture of a patient’s current and future health and will allow for the most precise prevention and treatment. This is the promise and power of proteomics for the future of precision healthcare.
SomaSignal™ tests are developed and their performance characteristics determined by SomaLogic, Inc. They have neither been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. SomaLogic operates a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified, and College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratory.