PCR is a very sensitive and specific method for detecting DNA and RNA. This method is used to determine whether a gene is present in the genome or to detect the level of gene expression in the case of drug action or genetic manipulation.

The most common use of qPCR is for gene expression, in which the genotype expression translates into the cellular phenotype through protein production which is influenced by many factors, such as the micro-environment (neighboring cells, hormones), drugs and disease states.

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For gene expression investigations, we culture cells, treat them with your drugs, isolate and convert the messenger RNA to complementary DNA, then quantitate the cDNA by qPCR.

One of many uses of qPCR is to detect rare events, such as an infectious disease agent, or micro-inhibitory RNA (miRNA) that regulates gene expression at the RNA level. At Marin Biologic, we have extensive experience using the FirePlex miRNA assay from Abcam which enables the profiling of up to 65 target miRNAs of choice simultaneously across tens or hundreds of samples. The assay can be used to profile miRNAs directly from biofluids or from purified RNA with the assay readout performed on Marin Biologic Laboratories’ Attune NxT Flow Cytometer


From the beginning and ongoing, your assay is a critical component of the life cycle of your current or eventual product. That is precisely why you want experience and expertise at the earliest possible stage of your development.

When you need an assay to prove your science and there is no commercial kit available, you need a custom assay. Our extensive expertise will quickly and methodically develop your assay to prepare it for eventual validation. Typically an assay can be developed from scratch in 5 or less experiments while minimizing any matrix effects.

We are firm believers in kits. The analytical portion of the assay itself is only a single component of what it takes to perform a successful experiment. It is all the other skills, experience and GLP/GMP conditions that we do day in and day out that will save you time getting to the results you actually want yesterday. We can create and distribute kits, too.

Many companies planning an IND submission or in Phase I/II may only require a well-qualified assay rather than a fully validated assay. You may or may not need GLP/GMP stringency and auditability yet. Our scientific team works with your scientists to qualify your assay for reproducibility, appropriate precision and accuracy.

To validate an assay is to measure precision, linearity, accuracy, robustness, system suitability and repeatability. To achieve these results, we conduct multiple experiments in a pre-validation phase with the assay. This phase is a series of 2-4 experiments that specifically look at these capabilities. Once we have advanced an assay, we perform the assay 2 more times for a total of 3 identical repeats. At that point, your assay meets the FDA GLP or GMP requirements.

Whether patient samples or drug product samples we will map out a timeline and follow through with sample receipts, meeting your regulatory needs at all points. We perform your assay as developed, qualified or validated, and promptly communicate the results and/or Certificate of Testing for any or all of your preclinical or clinical phases.

Knowing the importance to the FDA of lot release potency testing, our scientific team tests every manufacturing lot with your assay providing Certificates of Testing in a timely manner, under GMP Condition.

In order to determine shelf life for a particular drug substance, stability tests are performed at pre-determined calendar intervals. Our project coordinators communicate closely with you to anticipate the arrival of samples so as to have our staff and resources available for timely analysis and submittal of data and Certificates of Testing.

Execution and Experience

The Marin Biologic scientific staff is very experienced at qPCR, performing melt curves and gel electrophoresis which ensures a single gene sequence is being identified. Impeccable cell culture techniques as well as molecular biology are required for high quality results. Because of our specialized skill in cell biology and bioassays, we can ensure the quickest route to a completed assay development.