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Neil Carragher - Articles and news items
High-content analysis is primed to play a prominent role in a new era of drug discovery research that places greater emphasis on clinical translation at all stages of the discovery process from target identification to proof-of-concept testing. High content analysis provides a technical bridge between reductionist targetdirected drug discovery approaches and new technologies that embrace the biological diversity of human disease.
The drug discovery industry is evolving rapidly, this evolution is stimulated by two key factors; (i) increased accessibility of new technologies such as next generation sequencing, systems biology and imaging that enhance our ability to interrogate complex biological systems and; (ii) the perceived failure of the widely adopted target directed drug discovery operating model to deliver novel medicines. Thus, high content imaging technologies provide a timely, pragmatic solution that enhances the effectiveness of conventional target-directed chemical approaches and provides the necessary biological context for understanding proteomic or genetic signatures. However, the future success of high-content analysis in improving the clinical success rates of drug discovery projects is entirely dependent upon the physiological relevance of the biological models under evaluation.
Traditional drug discovery screening assays tend to employ simplistic endpoint assays that often monitor the activity of a single target. While these approaches are amenable to high-throughput screening they provide limited information on how candidate drugs influence complex biological systems that exist in vivo. Such limitations are a contributing factor to high attrition rates of drugs as a consequence of poor efficacy in clinical trials.
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