Retrogenix advances medical research and speeds up drug discovery for its clients by providing a unique service which identifies specific cell surface protein interactions in human cells. Retrogenix now has research agreements with fourteen of the top fifteen global pharmaceutical companies, numerous drug discovery companies and many leading academic and non-for-profit institutions around the world.

Our results have been published in high-impact journals including Nature, Molecular Cancer, Cancer Cell, mBio and Oncotarget and members of our team are regularly invited to present at international conferences. In 2015, Retrogenix won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – the UK’s most prestigious business accolade – in recognition of its innovative work in developing and commercialising the cell microarray technology.

As well as the unique cell microarray technology, Retrogenix also holds one of the world’s largest collections of plasma membrane protein clones which are individually expressed in human cells. The collection now exceeds 4,500 full-length expression clones, covering more than 3,500 different plasma membrane proteins, with many proteins represented by multiple variants.

Retrogenix is headquartered in Whaley Bridge in the High Peak, UK, and all project work is undertaken by highly skilled scientists in our specialist laboratory facilities on-site. The company also has a US office in Cambridge, MA. Retrogenix continues to build on its global reputation and the team is rapidly expanding to keep pace with the growing demand for its services.

Queen’s Award for Enterprise

In 2015 Retrogenix received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of the success of its human cell microarray technology. The awards, which are made each year by Her Majesty the Queen, are the UK’s most prestigious acknowledgement of business performance, requiring the highest levels of excellence to be demonstrated in each category. The award lasts for a period of five years.

Retrogenix’s unique technology has unrivalled success in identifying specific interactions that occur between a test molecule and the proteins on the surface of human cells. This critical step is traditionally a major bottleneck in many research projects due to the limitations of the methodologies that were previously available. As such, the technology is saving clients millions of pounds in research costs and preventing unnecessary project delays as scientists receive faster, more accurate results, often at much lower costs than investing in standard methods in-house.

The innovation has helped researchers to understand a variety of different biological processes such as how the malaria parasite binds to blood vessels in the brain, or how a virus attaches to human cells. It is also widely used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for assessing how a particular drug works and whether it might have toxic effects. The technology is facilitating advances in medical research which will ultimately lead to novel vaccines and therapies for patients.

“It is an honour to receive the Queens’ Award for Innovation. The novel approach and high success rate of our human cell microarray technology has allowed us to develop great working relationships with many of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies and leading academic groups, advancing their research and development and supporting breakthroughs in medical research and pharmaceutical discovery.”

Dr Jim Freeth, Managing Director

“We have a fantastic team here at Retrogenix and we continue to expand the company and invest in innovation in order to further increase the value of our technology.”

Jo Soden, Executive Director

Our History

In 2008, pharmaceutical scientist Dr Jim Freeth identified a powerful, physiologically-based approach for target deconvolution and receptor identification using human cells. Realising that this approach could overcome a major hurdle in medical research and drug discovery, Jim formed Retrogenix Limited with fellow scientist Jo Soden to develop the cell microarray technology. The team successfully raised private equity investment in 2009 and launched the cell microarray screening service in 2010.

Quickly out-growing its start-up labs in Sheffield, UK, Retrogenix relocated to bespoke laboratory facilities at Whaley Bridge in the UK’s Peak District National Park in 2012, expanding the team to deliver the increasing amount of project work and to continue with the essential research and development that ensures the cell microarray technology delivers exceptional results.

By 2013, the Retrogenix technology had facilitated a major breakthrough for a group studying a particularly deadly form of malaria which kills around half a million children per year. This advance paves the way for vaccines and therapies to be developed. The results of this study were published in the leading scientific journal Nature (2013; 498:502) – this was quickly followed by other studies showcasing the success of the technology in a variety of different research projects.

A current Queen’s Award holder, Retrogenix continues to lead the way in receptor identification and off-target profiling and recently extended its reach into new research areas including specificity screening for CAR-T cells and immune checkpoint pairing.

The University of Sheffield
Aveo Oncology - The Human Response
Theraclone Sciences
Bluebird Bio
The Center for Infectious Disease Research
Compugen Logo
The University of Copenhagen
Lund University
NIH - National Institutes of Health
The University of Pennsylvania
Scripps Florida - The Scripps Research Institute
Peptinnovate Ltd - Unlocking Nature's Potential
Retrogenix helped us to crack a very challenging problem, the result of which has significantly advanced our research. A collaborative approach, alongside an in-depth scientific and technical knowledge of their technology turned an unsuccessful initial screen into an extremely successful secondary screen. We have already committed to further studies.
Dr. Nicky Cooper, CSO, Peptinnovate