Joyce Johnson

Founding the Future of Stability Measurements

In this series of blog posts, we will discuss the entire journey of Protein Stable and how our product SUPR-CM was born. It highlights the current needs in the market and how our plate reader technology is providing you with high throughput protein characterization using low sample volumes. In this first post of the series, the history behind the founding of Protein Stable is revealed and how the company was created to tackle the challenges faced within the industry.  

Summer 2019: Innovating to meet customer demand

In the summer of 2019, Fluorescence Innovations of Minneapolis, USA and Applied Photophysics of Leatherhead, UK inked an agreement to form a joint venture for the development and supply of an innovative technology to support large molecule drug development and research.  The joint venture was to be named Protein Stable to reflect the focus of the first product, a high throughput, low sample use screening system for stability measurement of proteins using intrinsic fluorescence.  Not just because it could be done however, but mainly as a response to market requirements for better technology. 


The story had started a few years earlier with Fluorescence Innovations working alongside customers to study the use of microplates for stability measurements on a larger scale than available at the time.  Previously not adopted due to difficulties in measuring intrinsic fluorescence with the sensitivity required for low sample usage, a prototype was developed and placed in a customer lab to compare to then current state-of-the-art microplate reader technology.  Both systems utilised chemical melts to measure protein stability, with either Urea or Guanidine Hydrochloride, both measure intrinsic fluorescence of the tryptophan molecules in the protein sequence, both used 96 or 384-well microplates.  However, that’s where the similarities ended, the prototype from Fluorescence Innovations proved to be significantly faster, taking only a few minutes to read a 384-well plate compared to over an hour for the plate reader.  Sensitivity was such that the runs were not only faster but revealed more detail about the stability profiles of the molecules under study.  It was adopted immediately, and the traditional plate reader put aside.  The prototype was operating under a project name of SUPR-UV with a UV LED light source cleverly combined with a spectrometer detector to deliver superior performance.  Later to be called the SUPR-CM for the launched product to reflect the application it is targeted at; the prototype was proof of principle: you can innovate to meet customer demand.  After more studies and discussions, Protein Stable was formed. 

Join us for the next post in the series where we discuss how the design of our first product was iterated upon, based on our continued understanding of the market demand.  

For more information, contact