Drug Discovery Tech: new product round-up

Related tags Drug discovery Pharmacology Chemical reaction

While the Drug Discovery Technology Europe show placed an emphasis
on issues surrounding drug research, companies serving the pharma
and biotech industries took the opportunity to showcase the latest
technologies that are set to prove useful in future drug discovery.

Agilent Technologies​ showed off its new application that integrates all types of data, from analytical instrument output to standard desktop documents, into a single, secure fully searchable system.

Its Cerity Enterprise Content Manager (ECM) Cerity ECM is a tool for managing all electronic records in a central repository. It holds data independent of any proprietary formats and extracts key values from individual files.

Fully compliant with all major regulatory guidelines including 21CFR part 11, the ECM aims to meet the challenge for pharmaceutical laboratories in managing its ever-increasing volumes of data, and conversion of that data into information and decisions.

The problem has become one of the key topics to feature in this year's show, which has focused on pinpointing the most relevant information and getting more value from literature resources. Current search tools have proved inadequate for the ever-increasing demands of scientists.

Interbioscreen​ and Quantum Pharmaceuticals​ continued this theme by launching its novel virtual screening/small library generating service - QuantumLead (Q-Lead). Each Q-Lead-Library is a library of compounds, which are ranked according to their constant affinity to a particular disease target. Q-Lead-Libraries are designed to allow biotech and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the drug discovery R&D process to find novel drug candidates more quickly and at a lower cost.

The technology used for the creation of these libraries provides possibilities for de novo drug discovery. Fast quantum calculations, flexibility of molecules, solvation effects, and entropy contribution, which are relatively novel techniques for the industry, are standard features of this technology.

The Q-Lead-Library consists of natural and synthetic compounds with different levels of bioactivity (pmol, nmol, mkmol) for the target protein for many diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, AIDS and diabetes.

Q-Lead-Libraries typically hosts more than 400,000 unique compounds including synthetic compounds (over 370,000) and natural compounds (over 30,000).

On the instrumentation side, Biotage​ took the opportunity to launch the latest addition to its Initiator family. The Initiator Eight is designed to provide medicinal chemists with a certain degree of automation when performing microwave-assisted synthesis.

Microwave synthesis is a technique that is in contrast to traditional heat transfer techniques. Microwave energy passes freely through the reactor walls and is introduced rapidly and uniformly to the entire reaction mixture.

Reactions that might take several hours in a conventional oil bath may be completed in as little as five minutes using microwave stimulation. And this means that it can sometimes take longer to set up a reaction than to actually run it.

This allows organic chemists to work faster, generating higher yields with increased product purity, and to scale experiments up reliably from milligrams to much larger quantities without the need to alter reaction parameters. It offers more precise control over conditions of temperature and pressure than any previous technology.

This system also provides automation for rapid reaction optimisation, analog synthesis and scale-up of intermediates without the inconvenience of switching vials manually.

Biotage claims that reactions can be performed on a milligram scale and intermediates can be scaled up to the gram scale in a single experimental set up. The Initiator Eight is available in both standard and EXP formats, capable of processing eight vials in sequence.

And finally, Finnish biotechnology company Chip-Man Technologies​ used the exhibition to launch the Cell IQ. This systems biology platform provides an environment for continuous cell culture, controlled by an AI analysis package

The Cell IQ's main advantage is its ability to allow all morphological and physiological events to be measured simultaneously from the same culture, i.e. proliferation, apoptosis, migration distances, total cell numbers, dendrite length etc.

This is achieved without the use of labels and tags translating these into real time multi-parameter graphical outputs. Researchers can follow the entire culture through all growth phases for the first time revealing how the primary cell can evolve.

Chip-Man Technologies said the Cell IQ can record the events without the need for the plate to be removed from the incubation chamber thus maintaining the cells under optimal conditions.

This is sure to provide useful in analysing cytoplasmic and nuclear changes during toxic insults, analysis of a desired cell type in heterogeneous population and differentiation of stem cells, added the company.

Related topics Preclinical Research QA/QC

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