Bar Harbor BioTechnology, Inc. ("BHB") is developing innovative molecular biology products and services that advance life science research and clinical medicine. BHB began operations in September 2006 as the first commercial spin-off of The Jackson Laboratory, a leading independent research institution specializing in mammalian genetics. BHB is located in Trenton, Maine, the gateway to Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island.
Biomedical research, whether in academic or commercial settings, seeks to answer how biological systems operate normally and how diseases develop when these systems go awry. Answering those questions increasingly requires life scientists and clinicians to measure the activity of key sets of genes that are important to the biological system or disease of interest. This process, known as "molecular profiling", is integral to advancing life science research and clinical diagnosis in the 21st century.
BHB's team are experienced life scientists who formulated the technology for their own unmet research needs. BHB continues this theme with offerings customized by scientists to meet scientists' needs. The technology utilizes the real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction ("qPCR"), which is a most accurate method to measure genes and their expression. The global market for this technology is approaching $1 billion dollars per year, even though qPCR has been a cumbersome technology and the resulting data have been difficult to interpret. BHB offers the highest performance qPCR-based laboratory products and computational tools for molecular profiling at the levels of both RNA-based gene expression (transcriptomics) and DNA-based gene quantification (genomics). This includes StellARray™ Gene Expression / CNV System, the Global Pattern Recognition™ data analysis tool and increasingly robust bioinformatics tools. By streamlining gene-based molecular profiling and information technologies, BHB's integrated bioanalysis suite will make molecular profiling more convenient, reliable and informative than ever before.
BHB's technology applies qPCR, the gold standard for gene expression analysis. Examining gene expression has become instrumental in all areas of life sciences, from basic research, drug discovery to diagnostics. BHB has developed the StellARray™ Gene Expression / CNV System that are not only suitable for gene expression studies, but also for gene copy number variation, i.e. the same StellARrays™ can be used for both applications. Recently it has become evident that gene copy number variations are frequent in individuals and can play a major role for disease risk, onset, and progression. This is not only true for cancer, where it is well established that changes in the DNA itself are responsible for cancer type, stage, and prognosis, but also for other diseases. The impact of these findings is reflected by the fact that major centers like the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have very recently established programs to survey the human genome for gene copy number variations and have launched public databases. With molecular profiling tools being a major driving force in the biomedical industry, the need for simple, reliable and cost-efficient systems for both applications is evident.
BHB's technology targets the growing need to accurately analyze hundreds of genes simultaneously for their expression and/or gene copy number profile. This fills the niche between monitoring expression levels of all genes by microarray approaches and conventional qPCR applications, which is generally used for one or a few genes.
BHB utilizes the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), the gold standard for accurate measurements of gene expression having a wider dynamic range and better resolution when compared to microarray approaches. All genes are important, but some are more informative than others. Depending on the biological system to be studied different subsets of genes therefore provide the greatest information value. BHB's overall approach is termed PerfectCircle BioAnalysis. It provides intelligently pre-selected gene primer sets in 96- and 384-well formats and qPCR data handling combined with bioinformatics integration tools.