Our mission is to use our proprietary technology for the oxidative release of natural glycans (ORNG) to generate unprecedented quantities of complex glycans at affordable prices to make these available as research reagents for investigations on the biological role of glycans in normal physiology and disease.
The major limitation in the advancement of functional glycomics is the availability of biologically relevant glycans. Historically, progress in glycobiology was associated with the availability of glycans for investigation. For example, the identification of glycans as determinants for the ABO blood group system was discovered by destroying blood group activity using mild periodate oxidation, and the identification of the structures of each epitope was determined by structural analysis of the glycans on ovarian cyst mucins from donors, whose ABO blood type were known. At that time, ovarian cysts were not detected until they were very large and had accumulated large amounts of mucin-containing fluid; thus, the mucins were available in large quantities and the corresponding glycans were obtained in quantities that could be analyzed using classical methods. The structural determination of these epitopes on glycolipid and glycoprotein was not possible until the late 1970’s. Today ovarian cysts are diagnosed much earlier and these mucins are not readily available.
Another example is the availability of large amounts of glycans in human milk. These glycans were discovered in the 1920’s as factors that stimulated the growth of Lactobacillus bifidus, a major intestinal bacterium in the intestine of breast-fed infants. The “Bifidus factor” was later identified as a mixture of many glycans containing fucose, as well as N-acetylhexosamine. Carbohydrate chemistry groups in Europe headed by Montreuil in France and Kuhn in Germany focused on the identification of Bifidus factor and purified and defined the structures of many HMO. By 1965 the complete structures of 14 neutral and sialylated glycans had been reported. Interest in the function of human milk glycans and the fact that they comprise 10-20 g of glycan per liter of milk led to intensive studies on the glycans. Today there is a data base containing well over 150 glycan whose structures have been defined and published and a computational database that predicts over 50,000 possible structures that comprise the human milk glycome. Recently, the major manufacturers of infant formula have introduced human milk glycans into their products based on clinical trials that support their benefits in child health and development. Thus, our mission is to use our proprietary technology for the oxidative release of natural glycans (ORNG) to generate quantities of glycans similar to those quantities that are available in human milk and make them available at reasonable prices to the biomedical community.