Disease Areas - CDI Labs Applications

Delivering a New Dimension in the Understanding of Human Disease

CDI Labs enables a more complete understanding of disease mechanisms, helps identify new biomarkers, and informs new therapeutic approaches.


Transformational Tools and Services for Disease Research and Drug Development

CDI Labs provides transformational tools and services for proteome-wide autoantibody seromics and target identification applications. Products such as the HuProt™ Human Proteome Array, the world’s largest collection of full-length proteins, and VirScan™, HuScan® and MouseScan™ , a portfolio of services that use bacteriophage immunoprecipitation sequencing (PhIP-Seq), have been used in a wide range of applications by the research and drug development community. These applications have encompassed a broad range of disease areas including autoimmune diseases, oncology, neurological diseases, infectious diseases, genetic diseases and the study of aging.

Autoimmune Disease

Autoantibodies play a crucial role in the development and progression of autoimmune diseases which occur when the immune system mistakenly targets and attacks the body's own tissues, mistaking them for foreign invaders.

Autoantibodies can directly contribute to tissue damage in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, where autoantibodies target joint tissues or components of the skin, kidneys, and other organs, leading to inflammation and organ dysfunction. They can even directly influence the function of immune cytokines, altering the progression and symptoms of autoimmune conditions.

Understanding the specific autoantibodies involved in an autoimmune disease can guide treatment strategies. For example, therapies may aim to suppress the overall immune response, reduce inflammation, or target specific components of the immune system responsible for producing autoantibodies.

Research in the field of autoimmunity is ongoing, and scientists are continually identifying new autoantibodies associated with different autoimmune diseases. This deeper understanding of the role of autoantibodies is contributing to the development of more targeted and personalized approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune conditions.

In the featured publication, HuProt™ microarray was used in a study which reported that patients with autosomal recessive NIK or RELB deficiency, or a specific type of autosomal-dominant NF-κB2 deficiency, also have neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs and are at higher risk of getting life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia.

> Contact us about your autoimmune disease research, or if you have any questions about our products and services.



Cancer research and treatment has been revolutionized with the advent of immune-based cancer therapy, also known as immunotherapy or immuno-oncology (IO). Unlike traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which aim to directly target cancer cells, immunotherapy works by enhancing or restoring the immune system's ability to detect and attack cancer cells. Checkpoint inhibitors are an example of this approach. These drugs block inhibitory checkpoints on immune cells, such as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), allowing the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells more effectively. Drugs like ipilimumab (targeting CTLA-4), pembrolizumab, and nivolumab (targeting PD-1) are examples of checkpoint inhibitors approved for various cancer types.

In the featured publication, HuProt™ microarray was used to identify autoantibody signatures that have the potential to predict both disease recurrence and immune-related adverse events in melanoma patients treated with checkpoint inhibitor adjuvant immunotherapy.

In addition to serum profiling applications, HuProt is an invaluable target identification tool which enables discovery of diverse tumor-associated targets at a proteome-wide scale. Applications include:

  • Development and specificity testing of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) which represent a cutting-edge fusion of biotechnology and pharmacology. These compounds consist of monoclonal antibodies, which specifically recognize antigens on cancer cells, linked to potent cytotoxic drugs. By precisely delivering cytotoxic agents to cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue, ADCs hold immense therapeutic potential.
  • Development of multi-specific medicines which overcome the challenge of “undruggable targets” by using the principle of chemically induced proximity (CIP). CIP, which brings two things together by using small molecules or chemical ligands, is a powerful approach used in chemical biology and drug discovery to modulate protein function through the controlled assembly of protein complexes.
  • Identification of small molecule drug targets which can be discovered on HuProt via biotinylation of the small molecule being studied. These types of targeted small molecule therapies aim to interfere with pathways that are crucial for cancer progression, and include kinase inhibitors, hormone receptor blockers, angiogenesis inhibitors and apoptosis inducers.

> Contact us about your oncology research, or if you have any questions about our products and services.


Neurological Disease

Neurological diseases

Featured Publication

Autoantibodies can play a significant role in neurological diseases, contributing to various autoimmune disorders that affect the central nervous system. In these conditions, the immune system mistakenly targets components of the nervous system, leading to inflammation, tissue damage, and neurological symptoms. Conditions for which autoantibodies have been indicated as a causal factor include, Autoimmune Encephalitis, Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndromes, Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy.

In addition to autoantibody seromics, CDI Labs products and services can also be used to identify novel targets and pathways (target identification) via applications such as protein-protein interaction studies. These approaches can lead to a better understanding of neurological diseases and potentially inform new therapeutics and treatments options.

HuProt™ microarray and VirScan™ PhIP-Seq were used in the featured publication which demonstrated high-affinity molecular mimicry between the EBV transcription factor EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) and the central nervous system protein glial cell adhesion molecule (GlialCAM) and provided structural and in vivo functional evidence for its relevance. The results provide a mechanistic link for the association between MS and EBV and could guide the development of new MS therapies.

> Contact us about your neurological disease research, or if you have any questions about our products and services.


Infectious Disease

Autoantibodies can sometimes be associated with infectious diseases, and their presence or induction is a complex aspect of the host immune response. Infections have the capability of inducing a new autoimmune response or worsening an existing condition. Certain infections can trigger autoimmune responses which lead to the production of autoantibodies even after the infection has been cleared. One such example is post-streptococcal autoimmune reactions, where infections like streptococcal pharyngitis can lead to the production of autoantibodies that target host tissues, causing conditions such as rheumatic fever.

Molecular mimicry is a phenomenon where the antigens of infectious agents resemble host tissues. This can lead to the production of antibodies that cross-react with both the infectious agent and self-antigens. For example, research indicates that Epstein-Barr virus can lead to the development of MS via high-affinity molecular mimicry between the EBV transcription factor EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) and the central nervous system protein glial cell adhesion molecule (GlialCAM).

VirScan™, an application of bacteriophage immunoprecipitation sequencing (PhIP-Seq), is a service offered by CDI Labs Canada which enables researchers to determine what antibodies were created by an individual’s unique history of viral exposures. VirScan enables simultaneous epitope-level autoantibody profiling versus most vertebrate viruses. The understanding of an individual’s or cohort’s lifetime of viral exposures can provide researchers with valuable insights that can ultimately inform diagnosis and treatment decisions, as well as highlight the future risk for certain diseases.

In the featured publication, HuProt™ microarray was used to investigate for the presence of autoantibodies in children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).

> Contact us about your infectious disease research, or if you have any questions about our products and services.


Genetic Disease

genetic diseases

Featured Publication

While many genetic conditions are not explicitly thought of as immunologic disorders, it is impossible to separate the immune system from the rest of the human body. Due to the inherently interconnected nature of living systems, even a simple perturbation in the function of most any cell type or metabolic process is likely to have complex cascading effects that ripple and alter the behavior of other bodily systems. The adaptive immune system in particular, representing approximating half of all nucleated cells in the human body, has behavior that is particularly sensitive to genetic dysregulation. These effects can create over-active immunity with increased rates of autoimmune and inflammatory disease, or under-active immunity that makes the affected patients more susceptible to infection.

Genetic impacts can be felt in immune cells directly, with mutations in immune-expressed genes resulting in altered metabolism and responses to immune signaling pathways. Alternatively, genetic defects can primarily alter the behavior of other somatic cells, altered behavior that can disrupt how those tissues are able to successfully recruit inflammation or prevent autoimmunity.

In the featured publication, HuProt™ microarray was used in a study that detected 365 auto-antibodies in the plasma of individuals with Down's syndrome, which targeted the gastrointestinal tract, the pancreas, the thyroid, the central nervous system, and the immune system itself. The paper describes an autoimmunity-prone state in Down’s syndrome, in which a steady-state cytokinopathy, hyperactivated CD4 T cells and ongoing B cell activation all contribute to a breach in immune tolerance.

> Contact us about your genetic disease research, or if you have any questions about our products and services.