Molecular Devices tools up for kinase research

Related tags Cancer

US company Molecular Devices has extended the range of reagents for
its IMAP assay system with the launch of a new product intended for
use in the discovery of drugs targeting kinases.

The IMAP Substrate Finder for Tyrosine Kinases comes after Molecular Devices introduced a similar product for serine/threonine kinases in March. Together, the two products provide substrates for the two categories of kinases that make up the human kinome.

Kinases have emerged as a major new target for drug discovery, as they mediate pivotal pathways inside the cell, including the transfer of signals from receptors on the surface to the interior.

Kinases are known to play key roles in cellular processes including cell division, signal transduction, apoptosis and cell mobility. It is estimated that kinase malfunction contributes to more than 400 diseases, including cancer, inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.

Faced with the success of drugs that target kinases, such as Novartis' Glivec/Gleevec (imatinib) for chronic myelogenous leukaemia and AstraZeneca's lung cancer drug Iressa (gefitinib), pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are now aggressively pursuing research in this area.

Both Gleevec and Iressa have been shown to selectively target cancer cells but leave healthy cells unharmed.

Molecular Devices' IMAP platform was acquired alongside LJL in 2000, and takes the form of a line of reagents and concumabkles based on high efficiency fluoresecence polarisation. It is a tool for assay development and high throughput screening (HTS).

One of the major roadblocks facing pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies searching for potential drug targets for these diseases is finding a suitable substrate. The IMAP Substrate Finder accelerates the difficult task of finding new substrates by providing a quick, sensitive, yet inexpensive method to screen dozens of substrates in a couple of hours versus days or weeks.

"Kinase inhibitors are important drug targets that are screened at all major pharmaceutical companies,"​ commented Stephen Oldfield, vice president of worldwide marketing at Molecular Devices.

He claimed that IMAP is becoming the preferred assay to screen for kinase activity, thanks to its stable signal, precision, inherent flexibility, low cost per well and the ease in which it is incorporated into screening programmes.

Related topics Clinical Development

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