The outsourcing outfit have developed more efficient automated micronuclei assay as a response to its customers, which have expressed a strong interest in improving on current methods.
The automated imaging assay enables an accurate, early assessment of the potential genotoxicity of novel drug candidates in early drug discovery and development.
In addition, the assay protocol developed by MDS Pharma Services and >GE Healthcare provides sensitivity and concurrent toxicity data to help more accurately interpret micronuclei formation.
The fully automated assay, which incorporates GE Healthcare's IN Cell 1000 and IN Cell 3000 high content analysis platforms, allows for faster data collection and analysis. In addition it provides greater research flexibility with respect to customisation of additional multiplexed end-points.
"There are so many elements critical to effective drug development. Our IN Cell platform demonstrates the value of sub-cellular assay technology in progressing lead compounds through primary and secondary screening," said Ger Brophy, general manager of Discovery Sciences at GE Healthcare.
"The collaboration with MDS Pharma Services illustrates the value of these technologies for genotoxicity analysis. We have focused on developing more efficient automated micronuclei assays because our customers have expressed a strong interest in improving on current methods. The value of getting this type of data from cellular analysis systems will play out in improved efficiencies throughout the drug development process," he added.
David Spaight, President, MDS Pharma Services, added that they anticipated the assay would become their standard cell-based assay for early toxicity evaluation, indicating the importance placed on this technology.
In general, genotoxicity assays stand out since genotoxicity is widely accepted as an important and indicator of carcinogenicity. The range of assays has been extended to now include metaphase chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei, sister chromatid exchanges and host cell reactivation.
However, these methods are laborious and time-consuming or require highly trained technicians to accurately read and interpret slides.
This assay for genotoxicity and cytotoxicity can also be formatted to evaluate other toxicity end-points (apoptosis, necrosis) and is performed in traditional 96-well plates requiring relatively small amount of compound.
The assay has been validated with genotoxic compounds known to cause chromosomal damage (clastogen/aneugens), with or without in vitro metabolic activation, and can be formatted for automated moderate throughput screening (approximately 2304 wells per day) or for custom analysis on smaller sample numbers.
"We are proud to be able to offer our clients a much-needed automated assay for genotoxicity assessment using GE Healthcare's IN Cell 1000 platform," said Spaight.
"We certainly look forward to continuing our collaboration with GE Healthcare on other assay development projects."