Technology to Simplify Enzyme Activity Assay and Improve its Precision

Request Number REQ2369576
Due Date April 6, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Technology to Simplify Enzyme Activity Assay and Improve its Precision
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global manufacturer, seeks a technology to analyze the activity of various types of enzymes simultaneously in an easy and precise manner.


The client currently performs an enzyme activity assay internally. However, to measure several types of enzymes, the following challenges are yet to be overcome: operation is complex under the conditions of existing assay; and variances are observed in the measured value.


Existing assay method

  • After an enzyme mixture is dissolved, an operator performs separation manually.
  • Enzyme activity is measured by adding an enzyme-specific inhibitor and inactivating enzymes other than the target enzyme.

Therefore, the client has issued this open request to find an organization that has developed an easier, more precise assay method. Proposals only indicating that the client can perform the assay even if no actual data exist are also welcome. In addition to organizations that can design an assay method, organizations that can design enzyme-specific substrates, antibodies, inhibitors, etc., in order to simplify the assay, are eligible to participate.


Key Success Criteria

The client seeks a technology that fulfills one of the following requirements:

  • Target enzymes: It is anticipated that 2 to 3 types of enzymes in each of the following enzyme mixtures are measured simultaneously:
    • Mixture containing multiple types of starch-modifying enzymes that have a similar mechanism of action
    • Mixture containing multiple types of lipid- modifying enzymes that have a similar mechanism of action
    • Mixture containing multiple types of proteolytic enzymes that have a similar mechanism of action
    • Mixture consisting of the following different types of enzymes:
      • Starch-modifying enzyme, lipid-modifying enzyme, proteolytic enzyme, etc.

It is anticipated that, in the future, the assay of target enzymes will be performed in the presence of impurities, such as starch and polymers.

Requirements of the assay method

  • Operating procedures should be easy.
    • No manual separation should be involved.
      • If no manual separation is involved, a method to perform the assay more than once can also be used, through device improvement and process automation.
    • Conditions of the assay (measurement temperature, solution pH, etc.) should have little impact.
    • It is even preferable that there is little pretreatment and post-treatment.
  • Precision of the assay
    • Repeatability and intermediate precision: Preferably, CV of less than 5%

Requirements of the design of substrates, antibodies, etc.

  • Substrates, antibodies, etc. specific to the relevant enzyme should be designed.
    • It is desirable that synthesis can also be performed.
    • It is even preferable that an activity assay is performed using their compounds.


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Design and synthesis of enzyme-specific substrates, antibodies, inhibitors, etc. and implementation of an activity assay using their compounds
  • Design of a separation system using HPLC/LC-MS, setting of separation conditions, and implementation of an activity assay


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Proposals for an assay method involving manual separation
  • Proposals only for a synthesis method


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
Items to be submitted

Responses will use the Proposal Template which is available here and include the following items:

  • Overview of the technology (mechanism of assay, uniqueness, etc.)
  • Current performance (if the technology is currently implemented)
    • Types of substrates that can be designed and synthesized
    • Substances on which an assay is performed
    • Implementation conditions and results
    • Others
  • Current R&D stage
  • Challenges anticipated at the time of application of this technology and measures to address them
  • Request regarding the form of collaboration and budget
  • Current state of intellectual property related to the proposed technology
  • Past achievements (e.g. additional information supporting the R&D capabilities, such as research papers and patents)

Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Respondents should submit proposals using the attached Response Template.


The client will review submitted proposals and possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select the best candidate(s) through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with selected respondent(s), seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreement(s) with the selected respondent(s) and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.


Area of Interest
Request Priority