Tor 23 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

The future of world’s leading center for quantitative real-time PCR

Swedish-founded TATAA Biocenter quickly developed to become the world’s largest provider of hands-on training in qPCR. In just ten years, the company established a remarkable position as the world’s number one training provider with Europe’s best equipped laboratory for qPCR open to industry, academia and the public sector including health care and testing institutions. Continuing the development, TATAA is also Europe’s leading provider of nucleic acid analysis services, and Sweden’s most comprehensive distributor of advanced qPCR products.

TATAA Biocenter was founded in 2001 by pioneers in qPCR, initially offering highly specialised hands-on training in the company’s own laboratory in Gothenburg. These premises hold the world’s most advanced equipment for qPCR testing available today. In order to facilitate further growth and extend the training offer, TATAA set up another training facility in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2007. The company also offers training in other European countries, in the United States, Asia and Africa in collaboration with organizations such as EMBO, FEBS, HHMI, and Unesco.

Exclusive hands-on training
PCR, quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction, is a laboratory technique based on PCR used to amplify and simultaneously quantify a targeted DNA molecule. qPCR is a modification of standard PCR that provides greater quantitative accuracy because the amplified DNA is measured in real-time. Practically all pharmaceutical laboratories, drug testing facilities and diagnostic laboratories use PCR. The technique is also very popular in biomedical research and can also be applied in forensic testing.
“We offer exclusive, hands-on training with only a few participants in each session. We deliver quality training, where each individual gets sufficient time to work with the instruments to become familiar with the technology. Education is an investment, and we must deliver tangible results”, says CEO Mikael Kubista, also co-founder of TATAA.
Mikael Kubista was recently awarded the title Pioneer of the West (denoting the western region of Sweden). The jury justified the award as “successful fusion between the researcher and the entrepreneur’s vision”, where Mikael Kubista has succeeded in creating a forward-striving company continuously expanding its operations. Kubista is also a candidate for the Pioneer of the Year award that will be presented in October. Previously Kubista has won the SKAPA award and the Innovation Cup for various aspects of the qPCR technology.

Prime provider of nucleic acid analysis services
While it was educational services that granted TATAA recognition worldwide, analysis services and qPCR products are the main areas for further development. “We are an important partner for virtually all companies offering qPCR testing services and products”, says Kubista. “While other companies offer routine qPCR services as well today, we are alone with advanced offerings such as single cell expression profiling and digital PCR, which are applications we pioneered and today are requested in the most advanced research settings”.
Within health care, the need for qPCR is substantial. qPCR can be applied for testing purity of protein products to malignant cells circulating in the blood stream. Identifying cancer cells spreading through the body and characterizing their nature, disease progression can be predicted and valuable information is provided doctors supporting their treatment decisions. In Czech Republic TATAA has helped introducing cancer diagnostics based on circulating tumour cells into routine practise. In Sweden TATAA supports several research projects taking advantage of unique competence at TATAA to profile circulating tumour cells.
“We are certified according to ISO/IEC 17025, the main ISO standard used by testing and calibration laboratories. We have flexible accreditation, which allows us to develop methods and perform accredited testing within our area, qPCR. We are the only industrial corporation in Europe who can do this”, Mikael Kubista continues.

Product oriented future
Based on previous success in both training and analysis services, TATAA has taken the next step in developing products for qPCR testing with focus on high performance and quality control. Being Sweden’s most comprehensive provider of qPCR products is well enough, but TATAA is aiming higher.
“In the future, we hope to become one of Europe’s leading qPCR applications and product developers. Eventually, it is likely that the economic turnover generated from our products will exceed both our training and testing services”, says Mikael Kubista in conclusion.