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A new approach to specify RNAi experiments

23 May 2006 | By Ina Poser, Project Leader and Frank Buchholz Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology

Large DNA-sequencing projects such as the Human Genome Project have provided the scientific community with a new challenge: to try to understand the information encoded in the primary sequence of the genome. Studies investigating the role and function of the components of the genome are often called functional genomics.

The human plasma proteome: A biomarker pool too deep to explore?

23 May 2006 | By Susann Schenk, Center for Experimental Bioinformatics (CEBI) and Gary J. Schoenhals, Bioinformatics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Southern Denmark

The human blood plasma harbors treasure, which, like most treasures, is not easily attained, and finding it requires ingenuity, endurance and possibly a grain of luck. The blood plasma is the largest (most proteins) and deepest (widest dynamic range) of the human proteomes. In order to ‘triumph over’ it, it…

A perspective from Eli Lilly and Co.

23 May 2006 | By Aidas Kriauciunas and William Roell, Department of Integrative Biology, Shaoyou Chu, Karen Cox and Jonathan A. Lee, Department of Lead Generation Biology and Lead Optimization Biology, Ann Goodspeed, Discovery Informatics, Louis Stancato, Cancer Growth and Translational Genetics, Mark Uhlik, Tumor Microenvironment Biology, Lilly Research Laboratory, Eli Lilly and Company

Advances in optical imaging methods, personal computer power and cell/molecular biology methodology have merged to form the field of ‘Cellomics’1 also referred to as High Content Cellular Imaging (HCCI). HCCI is a powerful and flexible cell-based assay platform that has the potential to shorten cycle times by broadly impacting the…

Collaborating to find new approaches to tropical disease

23 May 2006 | By Dominique Perrin, Alexander Scheer and Timothy N.C. Wells, Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute

There has been a sea change in the way many biotech and pharma companies view the search for new drugs in neglected disease. Serono is a biotech company, with interests in neurology, reproductive health, oncology and dermatology – but we teamed up with the World Health Organization (WHO) to train…

Merck & Co.’s automated compound distribution centre

23 May 2006 | By Collette S. DeChard, Manager Compound Management Group, Fredric J. Solomon, Senior Automation Project Engineer, Robert Donnenberg Lead Application Services, Merck & Co., Inc.

In the mid-1990s, HTS labs were equipped with high-end automation for screening tens of thousands of compounds while compound management labs continued to manually pick samples and invest in standalone equipment...

Science through cooperation

23 May 2006 | By EPR

Protein crystallography has a key role to play in a project that is making a significant contribution to understanding human diseases. The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) has already achieved one landmark, and looks set to continue in a similar vein. Tim Lloyd spoke with Alexey Bochkarev Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Crystallography,…

The role of PAT in biotechnology

23 May 2006 | By Carl-Fredrik Mandenius, Linköping University, Sweden, Member of the European Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences PAT Steering Group

Product quality of pharmaceuticals manufactured in biotechnology processes is to a large extent synonymous with the reduction and control of unwanted biological side-products. Production of biopharmaceutical proteins and secondary metabolites such as antibiotics are the result of biosynthetic capacity of the microbes or cells used. But this capacity may also…

New opportunities for understanding

23 May 2006 | By Lubomir Gradinarsky, Jonas Johansson, Mike Claybourn, Husheng Yang, Matti U.A. Ahlqvist and Staffan Folestad, Pharmaceutical and Analytical R&D, AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal

By taking advantage of new technology previously developed mainly for radio astronomy, biological investigations and military applications, the emerging field of Terahertz (THz) Spectroscopy is starting to make its way into pharmaceutical analysis. This overview describes the new opportunities with THz Spectroscopy for rapid and non-destructive analysis of pharmaceutical materials…

Lyophilization: An ever-evolving technology

23 May 2006 | By Prof. Louis Rey, Scientific Advisor and Head, Laboratory of Experimental Freeze-Drying AERIAL – CRT, and Dalal Aoude-Werner, Head of Project, AERIAL – CRT

Almost 60 years have elapsed since freeze-drying/lyophilization was introduced on an industrial scale. Developed initially for the rapid delivery of human blood plasma on the World’s battle fields, lyophilization gained its credentials with the massive production of penicillin under the guidance of the late Nobel Laureate Sir Ernst Boris Chain.

Partnering for better science

23 May 2006 | By Hans Hultberg, Head of Global Discovery Alliances, AstraZeneca

There are nearly 12,000 people within the AstraZeneca R&D community who all share a common aim: to bring life-changing medicines to patients as quickly as possible. Our efforts are evident in a rich research history that has delivered new treatments for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological and respiratory diseases, along with pioneering…

Is Pharma getting what it needs from RNAi?

24 March 2006 | By Steven A. Haney, Department of Biological Technologies, Wyeth Research

Large and small drug development companies have used RNAi intensively for several years now1-3. The adoption of RNAi technologies by drug companies followed fairly closely with their adoption by academic research labs, and as such many of the challenges and problems that were a natural consequence of the rapid expansion…

Identification and prevalidation of safety biomarkers

24 March 2006 | By Michaela Kroeger, Merck KGaA, Institute of Toxicology, Matthias Glückmann, Applied Biosystems, Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics

To date, hazard/risk assessment of new drugs and chemicals primarily relies on the investigation of toxicological endpoints from animal studies. In this field, the full range of genomics and proteomics technologies can be used in efforts to uncover the molecular mechanisms at work in response to xenobiotic exposure. These new…

Real-time PCR: clinical applications

24 March 2006 | By Lut Overbergh and Chantal Mathieu, Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology (LEGENDO), University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Catholic University of Leuven

The real-time PCR technique is one of the emerging techniques that, although only described for the first time about a decade ago, have become the method of choice for quantification of DNA and RNA levels in cells, tissues and tissue biopsies.

Critical success

24 March 2006 | By Maria L. Garcia and Gregory J. Kaczorowski,Department of Ion Channels, Merck Research Laboratories

The extensive amount of knowledge accumulated over the last few years on the physiological importance of ion channels and, consequently, the broad expectation that drugs which modify the activity of these proteins could have therapeutic benefit, has triggered resurgence in the study of ion channels in both academic and pharmaceutical…

Carving a niche in the realm of drug discovery

24 March 2006 | By Charanya Ramachandran, Research Analyst, Drug Discovery Technologies, Frost & Sullivan Healthcare (EMEA)

Molecular technologies such as genomics and proteomics have brought in a thorough make-over to early stage drug discovery. The strategic spotlight from the genomics technologies has gradually shifted focus to the cellular domain where the entire drug target interaction takes place. As a result, cell based screening provides promising potential…