SunFire Biotechnologies, LLC is located at the Innovation Depot in beautiful Birmingham, Alabama. SunFire is a UAB spin-off company focused on the technologies developed by Dr. Moon Nahm during his 20+ years as a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his academic career, Dr. Nahm has directed a WHO reference laboratory for pneumococcal serology and developed various technologies useful for pneumococcal vaccine studies, with the most notable being the invention of the MOPA (multiplexed opsonophagocytosis assay). The MOPA is used to measure protective capacity of antibodies and is often used to evaluate pneumococcal vaccines, especially in the elderly.
As a Clinical Research Organization (CRO), SunFire was formed to satisfy OPA (opsonophagocytosis assay) demand from pneumococcal vaccine companies. Pneumococcal vaccines are given to all children and older adults since pneumococcal infections are very common in those populations. New and improved pneumococcal vaccines are being developed by several companies in multiple countries. With an increasing number of pneumococcal serotypes covered by the next generation vaccines, the MOPA is ideal to meet these demands.
SunFire was founded by Dr. Moon Nahm, Mr. Rob Burton, Dr. Debbie Bidanset, Dr. Phil Fernsten, and Mr. Taehea Nahm. In addition to inventing the MOPA, Dr. Nahm and Mr. Burton have more than 30 years of combined practical experience with the assay, including performance of the MOPA in a regulatory-compliant environment. SunFire personnel also have significant experience with other analytical assays for pneumococci, as well as other pathogens.