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AmberGen and Bruker Collaborate on Spatial Biology Imaging Reagents for MALDI-Immunohistochemistry (MALDI-IHC)

Transforming Multiomics Spatial Tissue Biology with the Power of MALDI Mass Spectrometry for Imaging Targeted Proteins, Lipids, Glycans and Metabolites


WATERTOWN, Massachusetts, April 08, 2022 – Boston-area life science technology company AmberGen Inc. today announced that it has closed a strategic investment by Bruker Corporation, one of the world’s leading scientific instrumentation and life-science solutions companies. AmberGen’s innovative and proprietary Miralys® Spatial Biology Imaging Reagents for MALDI based Immunohistochemistry (MALDI-IHC), are currently in Beta release.

Transforming Multiomic Spatial Tissue Imaging with MALDI Mass Spectrometry.

Combined with Bruker’s unique ultra-high speed (10 kHz), high-spatial resolution (5 µm) MALDI imaging mass spectrometers, such as Bruker’s rapifleX® and timsTOF fleX™ systems, the new Miralys workflows produce tissue images of targeted protein biomarkers in both fresh frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples.  AmberGen’s unique peptide code photocleavable mass tag (PCMT) technology enables high-plex MALDI-MS imaging to detect high-plex panels (up to approximately 100 plex) of targeted proteins across tissue sections with a variable, large field of view (up to 25 mm by 75 mm), suitable for tissue and pathology research.  MALDI-IHC workflows are uniquely multiomic in the sense that they are capable of imaging small molecule drugs, their metabolites, glycans, and lipids, in addition to IHC-targeted protein biomarkers.  This is done all on the same tissue slide with a larger field of view than many other mass cytometry imaging approaches.

Miralys reagents make MALDI-IHC both multiomic and multimodal since its optional dual-labeled reagents enable spatial co-registration of multiple imaging modalities, including those based on mass spectrometry, immunofluorescence imaging for up to 5 probes, and bright-field microscopy.  Miralys MALDI-IHC workflows are not applicable for sub-cellular or small single-cell imaging, nor for DNA, methylation or mRNA imaging, and therefore, complement other spatial transcriptomics microscopy methods.

Dr. Michael Easterling, Director of Imaging for Bruker’s Life Science Mass-Spectrometry Division, stated: “The MALDI-MS tissue imaging community has long expressed a desire to spatially map targeted proteins, together with glycans, lipids, drugs, and their metabolites, where MALDI has found widespread utility using a label-free approach.  The innovative photocleavable peptide code mass tag technology developed by AmberGen for labelling proteins of interest is a perfect combination for large field-of-view, multiomic and multimodal spatial tissue biology applications.  This additional information will be fundamentally important for oncology and immuno-oncology research, and pathology research.”

Dr. Kenneth Rothschild, Founder and Executive Chairman of AmberGen, Inc., commented: “The Miralys® MALDI-IHC platform provides the life sciences market with very high multiplexed, multiomic, and multimodal imaging capabilities for understanding the complex mechanisms of disease and response to pharmaceutical treatment.  This strategic investment by Bruker will accelerate the introduction of the Miralys spatial biology approach to a wide variety of researchers and catalyze progress in critical areas such as tissue pathology research and drug development. We are confident that this is the beginning of a new generation of spatial tissue imaging with integrated multiomics capabilities.”

Dr. Mark Lim, Executive VP and CSO of AmberGen, noted that “The key to the superior performance of our Miralys reagents stems from our innovative mass-tags which offer fast and efficient photocleavage and robust probe labeling as well as optimized work-flows for high-plex multiomic imaging.”

About AmberGen Inc. –

AmberGen, Inc. is a privately held, Boston-area company founded in 1995 to commercialize pioneering photonic technology developed at Boston University’s Molecular Biophysics Laboratory and the Photonics Center. AmberGen’s development of proprietary peptide code photocleavable linkers (PC-Linker™) led to the early introduction of novel photocleavable reagents, such as PC-Biotin and PC-Phosphoramidites which underlie several major commercial proteomic and genomic technologies. The company’s mission is to innovate in the area of therapeutics and diagnostics by solving key problems that limit progress in medicine. AmberGen’s approach combines patented techniques in proteomics and light-based control of biomolecules.

Media Contacts:

For AmberGen, John Gillespie, CEO, AmberGen Inc., Email