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South Carolina’s IMCS Scientists Awarded Patent for Enzyme Engineering Technology

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Integrated Micro-Chromatography Systems, Inc. (IMCS), a leader in recombinant enzymes and micro-chromatography technologies, was awarded U.S. Patent No. 11,421,210 by the United States Patent Office. The patent, entitled “Chimeric and other variant beta-glucuronidase enzymes with enhanced properties,” is a new addition to their existing patents based on proprietary enzyme engineering technology. The new patent expands the company’s intellectual property portfolio and strengthens its position in the market.

IMCS has been leading the way in the development of recombinant beta-glucuronidase enzymes (also β-glucuronidase) for use as analytical tools. Its industry-disrupting product, IMCSzyme®, was released in 2013 and paved the way for the widespread use of highly pure and efficient beta-glucuronidase enzymes in the urine drug testing market. Beta-glucuronidase is a crucial enzyme in metabolizing drugs and biologics in the body and is widely used in clinical, forensic, and academic settings for the detection of various drugs and substances in biological fluids.

“These patents exemplify the technical competencies at IMCS and continue to demonstrate its leading role in enzyme engineering,” said Caleb Schlachter, Ph.D., a co-inventor of the patent and Senior Research Scientist, Protein Engineering at IMCS. “We continue to expand our novel enzyme portfolio by improving the properties of several enzymes beyond beta-glucuronidases, such as sulfatases for the detection of steroidal and hormonal metabolites.”

“As a long-time user of IMCS’ recombinant beta-glucuronidase, I am excited in novel products that help move the industry forward,” said T. Scott Kephart, Ph.D., President at Quasar, who is not involved in this research. “Recombinant enzymes have enormous impact in the clinical, forensic, academic, and biopharmaceutical fields. As a country reeling from the effects of the opioid crisis, the use of novel enzymes for the accurate quantification of medications and drugs of abuse is crucial for effective patient care.”

IMCS patented enzyme technologies make it possible to design enhanced beta-glucuronidases that detect a wide range of drugs with high sensitivity and specificity. These enzymes enable clinical labs to meet the increased demand for more sensitive tests by improving the detection of low concentrations of drugs in a patient’s urine or blood sample.

About IMCS

Integrated Micro-Chromatography Systems, Inc is a privately held biotechnology company that strives to address the growing needs of clinical and research laboratories through innovative technologies and custom solutions designed to increase testing efficiency. IMCS creates, manufactures, and distributes next-generation biotechnology products to clinical and forensic toxicology, academic research facilities, US government agencies, and health science companies around the world. 

About Quasar

Quasar is an established leader in laboratory supplies and consulting services. Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Quasar has been serving laboratories throughout the US since 2010. Their extensive product line features high-value laboratory equipment and consumables from world-renowned manufacturers. Quasar consulting services work with laboratories of all sizes to perfect lab management and optimize diagnostic methods. From routine tests to complex research and discovery, Quasar aims to provide laboratories with optimized patient-centric products and services to ensure clients’ results are met.

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.