Namyong Lee, CEO, CellKey
Namyong Lee, CEOGenomic-based biological research has been very active, but the field has its –limitations like any other sciences. Although it can analyse a static blueprint of protein, it has limitations in interpreting the protein functions and mutations in human bodies. That is where proteomics and glycoproteomics play a key role.

Seoul-based CellKey is a biotech company developing glycoprotein based biomarker panels using AI and cloud technologies. The company’s glycoproteomics method offers a one-of-a-kind analysis of glycopeptides, enabling the identification of glycosylation sites and their characteristics. “Combining unique glycoproteomics and the latest technology helps accelerate the biomarker researches and new drug development cycles,” states Namyong Lee, CEO of CellKey.

The company’s technology enables analysis of the proteins and glycoproteins, actual functionality and mutations in the human body. Furthermore, CellKey’s technology and science enable the analysis of glycosylation of proteins. “We go the extra mile to understand proteins like glycosylation and its modification in human body to discover more accurate biomarker targets and draw the characteristics,” adds Lee. CellKey has built an AI-driven proprietary data analytics service called SpAC9 running on AWS. The scalability of AWS enables CellKey to quickly analyse large datasets generated by its research and its scientists to complete protein and glycoprotein analysis for multi-biomarker panel discovery up to 100 times faster than with conventional research methods. By automating data classification with machine learning, the firm’s scientists spend more time on core biological research to produce more accurate outcomes. CellKey’s cloud-based infrastructure enables its service users to leverage this elastic computing resource which optimises computing time and cost and accelerates their research.

CellKey: AI-Driven Biomarker Panel Discovery

Our SpAC9 service is the most comprehensive glycoprotein analysis solution in the market providing massive data analytics functionalities with most comprehensive experimental data repository


SpAC9 offers data analytics functionalities, called the SpAC9 pipeline, and a data repository called, the SpAC9 vault. The SpAC9 pipeline has ultimately been developed for biomarker discovery offerings like glycoprotein analysis, statistical analysis, protein-protein interaction, proteogenomic network analysis, and cancer specific biomarker analysis. This is the comprehensive solution for analysing a cancer specific biomarker leveraging proteomics, glycoproteomics, and proteogenomics. The SpAC9 vault is a data repository containing glycoprotein spectrum data, especially to 10 categories of most prevalent cancers. The SpAC9 pipeline leverages SpAC9 vault to search different cancers and different targets during research. “Our SpAC9 service is the most comprehensive glycoprotein analysis solution in the market providing massive data analytics functionalities with most comprehensive experimental data repository,” states Lee.

Recently, CellKey has started a biomarker research collaboration with one of the top university hospitals to tackle lung cancer challenges in Korea. “We have teamed up with one of the top MDs to develop early detection biomarker for lung cancer,” adds Lee. The company is also expanding its research into liver cancer by starting a new collaboration with Korea’s top university hospital. “Our ultimate goal is to discover new biomarker panels for both lung cancer and liver cancer that are more effective and accurate so that we can commercialise these panels in Korea first and then globally” says Lee. CellKey has just finished signing Pre-Series A investment contracts with two investors, one of the Prestigious ESG Venture Capitals and Asset Management backed Investment Fund in Korea. The company also competed in a startup competition and won the 1st place Minister Award from the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups. Many companies have been developing protein-based biomarkers targeting life-threatening cancers. However, their sensitivity and accuracy are not good enough to be leveraged to diagnose cancers early. Whereas, CellKey provides its unique glycoproteomics research to discover effective biomarker panels and leverage its technology as SpAC9 to diagnose more lifethreatening cancers in the early stage.