Using Olink in drug discovery & development

Incomplete knowledge of the real-time biology underlying disease and drug action can drive up costs and time in drug development. Protein biomarkers can be used to predict response, stratify patient populations, and provide insights into the biology of disease.

Our protein library and innovative PEA technology with exceptional specificity in high-multiplex assays has been widely used in clinical biomarker research. It can be applied across all stages of drug development.


Protein biomarker utility across the complete drug discovery/development process

Key application areas


  • Drug target selection: identify protein biomarkers that are causal for diseases
  • In vitro studies: Deep phenotypic profiling in models (e.g. patient-derived iPS cells) for evaluation of compound properties or to understand mode of action
  • Dose selection: Define the optimal dose instead of using maximum tolerated dose, by increased understanding of the effects of drugs on biomarkers for efficacy and safety endpoints.
  • Pharmacodynamics: Understand how the human body reacts to a given drug. For example, broad, well-characterized panels of inflammatory markers enable high-resolution monitoring of cytokine levels over time.
  • Drug differentiation: Using a wide spectrum of protein biomarkers that go beyond the pathways normally examined. Show that your drug is more safe or effective.
  • Label expansion: Repurpose drugs for alternative disease indications by including mechanistic biomarker data.

Olink in action

To understand how biomarker research is being applied in a wide range of disease areas, please watch the video testimonials from leading investigators, download our case study papers, or watch our past webinars.

Case study papers

Together with some leading researchers in their fields, we have produced three case study reports that detail the use of Olink protein biomarker data in clinical studies on three important disease areas. You can access all of these reports using the link button at the end of the descriptions.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

In this project, 11 proteins were found to be differentially expressed in patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In addition, proteins differentially expressed between anti-TNF therapy responders and non-responders in ulcerative colitis patients were analyzed.






Video interview with Jonas Halfvarson, department of gastroenterology, Örebro university, Sweden.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

This report describes a project where a protein signature separating healthy controls from stage 1 fibrosis in NASH patients was identified. The signature included TNF-α and showed correlation with inflammation rather than fibrosis. A second protein signature separating early (F1-F2) from late (F3-F4) stage disease was also found, with strong correlation to fibrosis.

Ovarian cancer

This study identified Identified an 11-protein signature for ovarian cancer that performed better than the currently approved IVDs, using a validation process supported by the FDA.

Download Case Studies

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Biomarker assays

~881 million

Protein data points generated


Publications listed on website

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