Technology & Founders
AffiPro (short for Affinity Proteomics) is a start-up located in the Czech Republic in the Prague metropolitan area.
The aim of AffiPro products is to offer qualitatively better tools for life science mass spectrometry using novel affinity approaches and fine-tuned surface modifications. AffiPro technologies are built around efficient surface chemistry, high-quality enzyme production and innovative know-how about rapid sample preparation methodologies.
The current product portfolio includes enzymatic columns for on-line sample pre-treatment and modified affinity surfaces.
The column product line utilizes a wide enzyme portfolio that currently includes peptidases and glycosidases, while columns with molecules from other enzymatic families are under development. AffiPro enzymatic columns are extremely reliable and are used by many protein mass spectrometry teams, as documented by publications as well as by the testimonies from the key opinion leaders in the field.
Affinity surfaces are prepared by ion soft landing, a technique originally coined by R.G. Cooks at Purdue University, and now used for different purposes anywhere, where unique surface modifications are required. AffiPro obtained a license to commercialize patent (US10180435B2) for affinity MALDI plates modified by ambient reactive soft landing. These functionalized MALDI chips can be used to perform lab-on-plate experiments such as enrichment, enzymatic treatment, or immune-purification prior the MALDI-MS detection. Using the ion soft-landing technology, AffiPro is developing other affinity tools for sample pre-treatment that will expand the technology also towards the automated LC-MS workflows.
Petr Pompach, PhD
Petr Pompach obtained PhD in biochemistry from the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic and completed postdoctoral training at the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he studied glycoproteins in HCC patients by mass spectrometry in the group of Rado Goldman at the Department of Oncology. Currently, Petr is head of the Structural mass spectrometry core facility in BioCev, Vestec, Czech Republic. He is a member of the executive board of the Czech Society for Mass Spectrometry. Petr is author of more than 50 scientific articles and several EU and US patents. He co-developed the technologies used by AffiPro. His scientific interests are in mass spectrometry techniques for structural biology, proteomics and glycomics and in omics sample preparation. He also works on the technology for surface modification by reactive ion landing under atmospheric pressure. This technology was successfully used for enrichment of clinically important antigens from human serum followed by MALDI mass spectrometric detection, for the enrichment of glycans/glycopeptides by lectin chips, phosphorpeptides by titanium/zirconium dioxide chips and for on the plate in-situ digestion of proteins by different types of protease chips.
Michael Volny, PhD
Michael Volny received PhD in chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle in the group of Frank Turecek and postdoctoral training from R. Graham Cooks at Purdue University in Indiana. During his postdoc he obtained the prestigious European Marie Currie Fellowship, which he utilized to spend three years at the Institute of Microbiology in Prague. After the completion of the MC fellowship, he returned to the University of Washington and was a senior scientist and PI at the Applied Physics Lab and School of Pharmacy Mass Spectrometry Center. Due to personal reasons, he moved to California in 2014 where he worked for different small and large companies in the Bay area including Atonarp, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Genentech. Since 2023 he is a faculty member at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague (VŠCHT). He published more than 50 articles and several patents, served on the board of the Czech Society for Mass Spectrometry and was adviser for 2 graduate students. He likes the Cascade Mountain Range in the Pacific Northwest, Peter Sellers’ movies, unambiguous mass spectra, and historical instruments. He dislikes HILIC separations, data sets larger than life, traveling to LA, and HC Kometa Brno.
Petr Novak, PhD
Petr Novak received PhD in biochemistry from the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. His early focus included mass spectrometry-based proteomics and characterization of proteins and their post-translational modifications. Since his postdoctoral stay at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California – where he worked with Prof. Irvine Kuntz (Department of Pharmacy, UCSF) and Dr. Gary Kruppa (Bruker Daltonics) – he changed the direction towards mass spectrometry based structural biology (protein covalent modification and chemical cross-linking). In this area he works on the application of structural mass spectrometric techniques for elucidation of protein interactions and conformational changes. After returning to Prague from California he was first the lead scientist of the mass spectrometry section of the Department of Molecular Structure Characterization at the Institute of Microbiology in Prague. Currently he is the head of the Laboratory of Structural Biology and Cell Signaling at BioCev in Vestec, Czech Republic. Part of his research is also dedicated to methodological development which includes design of protein chips for clinical diagnostics, design of novel cross-linking reagents and software for mass spectrometric data interpretation. Petr is author of approximately 140 scientific articles and several patents. He teaches Molecular biology and genetics, and Proteomics classes at the Faculty of Science of the Charles University and served as an advisor for more than 20 diploma or PhD students. One of his personal goals is to contribute to establishing hub of new biotechnology start-ups in the south Prague metropolitan area, around the life science institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences.