Asper Biotech is a leading Estonian biotechnology company established in 1999 as a spin-off
of the Estonian Biocentre and Tartu University. Asper has grown to become the biggest
biotech exporter in Estonia, targeting mostly European and US markets. Asper is currently
expanding its operations in DNA analysis field to cater to the growing international demand.
The R&D projects financed partly by Enterprise Estonia in 1999 and 2000 resulted in the
technological ability to launch its first products onto the international markets. Simultaneously,
the results of the development projects were published in major international scientific
journals including Nature, PNAS etc. This was an important step for validation of the
technology platform for international clients.
Asper’s DNA analysis technology (APEX) combines micro-array technology with Sanger
sequencing and single base extension reactions. The highly customisable and accurate
platform is an excellent basis for developing DNA testing services for the academic,
pharmaceutical and medical sectors.
During a six-year period, Asper has increased its expertise in developing and validating highly
customized SNP/mutation screening assays and has developed a portfolio of DNA tests
together with its partners. Since ophthalmics has become a major part of operations, and the
company saw increasing potential in the future, Asper Ophthalmics, an eye disease genetics
business unit was created in early 2005.
Asper’s product development and genotyping service was certified to be in accordance with
ISO 9001 quality standards in July 2000. The annually performed follow-up evaluations
revealed that the standards have become routine in the company’s daily operations. Presently
the whole lab process as well as management is controlled by the system. A LIMS is in place
for tracking lab processes.
Asper’s list of clients and partners includes the world’s leading research institutions, such as
Columbia University (USA), the International Agency For Research on Cancer (France),
Nijmegen University (The Netherlands), the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College of
London (UK), the Boystown National Research Institute (USA), McGill University Health
Centre (Canada), Retina International (Switzerland), Stanford University (USA) etc.
Long-lasting partnerships and client relationships, as well as grants from the European
Commission, signal Asper's superb scientific relevance and professional approach to its
business. Asper has been a partner in five EC funded FP projects.
The next important step for Asper will be entry into the diagnostic market, where the
ophthalmic disease spectra will be the initial core unit. Asper is constantly evaluating other
perspective areas, such as oncology and deafness also. Pharmacogenetics may be another
opportunity for Asper, where the precise and reliable APEX technology will be used for
establishing genetic tests to be used in personalized medicine.
The list of current DNA testing services is available on our website.
Postal address Oru 3, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Telephone +372 7 441 556, +372 7 441 772
FAX +372 7 442 343, +372 7 442 168
Web www.asperbio.com, www.asperophthalmics.com