Happy New Year! It’s five years since Marko and I founded Qkine, the time has flown. Highlights have been the wonderful feedback we’ve had from customers and launching innovative products such as the first true animal-free TGF-β1, tag-free thermostable FGF2-G3, and demonstrating the efficacy of HGF NK1 in hepatocyte differentiation. We also stuck to our core value of providing the highest purity growth factors.

Tough to follow? Well maybe, but at Qkine we are committed to positively impacting science, well-being, and our planet. And we have big plans for the next five!

As we prepare for 2022 and beyond, we are musing on:

  • What are the growth factor innovation priorities to adapt proteins for use outside of the physiological niche and improve scientific outcomes? Wnt3a and protein stability keep popping up.
  • How else can we support stem cell science? A persistent theme from our customers is future GMP-compliant growth factors.
  • The cultivated meat sector is exploring how to develop a major component of our future food system sustainably for future generations and ultimately impact the health of the planet. The innovation challenges are enormous – how can we use our expertise to contribute?

We’d love to hear your thoughts about the priorities for growth factor manufacturers and how we can best support stem cell science.  Please email us at proteins@qkine.com.

We wish you successful science and good cheer in 2022!

Best regards,
Catherine (CEO and Founder)

Qkine news

celebrating 5 years of Qkine

Qkine is celebrating five incredible years of protein innovation! Everyone here at Qkine is proud of the journey we have taken and the state-of-the-art proteins we have manufactured since starting in 2016. We look forward to working with our wonderful customers and collaborators and supporting new sectors and science in the future. As our way of saying thank you to all our customers, we are offering free delivery this month on all orders worldwide! 

the origins of Qkine as told by founder and CSO Marko Hyvönen

cool science

the role of GDF15 in stress response

It’s always great to see our proteins featured in exciting papers, like this one from the O’Rahilly lab.

In this paper, Cinimo et al. explore the role of the TGFβ-family protein GDF15 in activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. During infection, cytokines such as TNFα/β, IL-1 and IL-6, activate the HPA axis. This increases circulating glucocorticoids, which have anti-inflammatory, metabolic, and vasomotor effects.

However, O’Rahilly lab have determined that in response to stimuli such as toxins, which don’t provoke an inflammatory response, the primary activator of the HPA axis is GDF15.

GDF15 is an intriguing protein also being explored as an anti-obesity therapeutic target, these findings may have a pivotal impact on future clinical study design and open new avenues of investigation. Certainly cool science!

new proteins

animal-free hepatocyte differentiation

Endoderm implants are accelerating towards the clinic, with 2022 likely to be a year in which major advances are made in scaling differentiation protocols to help translate basic science into clinical impact. To support scientists working on establishing effective, fully chemically-defined, hepatocyte culture media, we
have developed the world’s first complete set of animal-free growth factors for differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to hepatocytes – including OSM, HGF NK1, FGF-10 and BMP-4.

something to think about

but what does animal-free really mean?

Animal-free, animal-derived component free (ADCF), animal-origin free (AOF) and xeno-free mean different things to different manufacturers. Knowing what you are getting and the potential impact on your science is essential. We believe in total transparency; our animal-free processes are defined in our animal-free statement available online and we are always happy to answer any questions you have.


get the next generation involved in the #mymimosa growathon!

It’s never too early to teach children about protocol optimisation! The next generation of Qkine have taken on their own growth optimisation experiments as part of the #mymimosa growathon; testing whether scratching and/or soaking the seeds aids germination. Download our lab book layout and start training up your children in good scientific procedure!

If you would like to join in our lab #mymimosa growathon, and are based in the UK, please request a pack on our website.  Please tweet us with your progress @qkinebio #mymimosa – there may be a prize!

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