License for use of iBodies® to measure free testosterone sold to Immunotech (Beckman Coulter group)

License for use of iBodies® to measure free testosterone in blood sold to Immunotech, a member of the Beckman Coulter group, for the use of iBodies®

The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague), the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IMC), and Charles University have signed a licensing agreement with the company Immunotech, a member of the Beckman Coulter group, for the use of iBodies®, a joint technology for measuring free testosterone in blood. The new iBodies provide an alternative to the radioactive tracer method, thus simplifying the measurement of free testosterone in clinical laboratories. 

Measuring free testosterone is important in determining the correct therapy for a number of health problems and serious diseases. In women, for example, it is measured in cases of menstrual disorders and conception problems. In men, it can help identify the causes of obesity, erectile dysfunction, depression, sleep disorders, and osteoporosis. The actual measuring, however, is complicated: the amount of free testosterone is either inaccurately derived from overall levels of testosterone in the blood, or it is measured using radioactive tracers, which provide accurate results but also present a variety of complications arising from the use of radioactive material, among them its relatively low stability.

Typically used as synthetic antibody substitutes, iBodies are complex molecules that enable imaging of specific proteins on the surface of cells.

In this case, iBodies are being used for the very first time as so-called tracers, i.e. nonradioactively labelled molecules that can be detected with a high degree of accuracy, making it possible to derive free testosterone levels. Therefore, iBodies represent a key component that facilitates sensitive detection of free testosterone.

The results of the new iBodies, their sensitivity, and their long-term stability caught the attention of the Beckman Coulter group, which, with the license, will use them as an important component for its new nonradioactive (ELISA) kit for determination of free testosterone and will add them to its standard in vitro kits for clinical laboratory diagnostics.