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Affinity-based screening

20 July 2006 | By Dr Lorenz M. Mayr, Executive Director & Head Biochemical Screening and Dr Hartmut Zehender, Labhead SpeedScreen, Biochemical Screening, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

Drug (lead) discovery relies on massive screening of chemical libraries against various extra- and intracellular molecular targets to find compounds with the desired mode of action. Sequencing of the human genome1 has generated a large number (>40 per cent) of new molecular targets with unknown function (‘orphan targets’), as well…

Identifying human toxicity potential

20 July 2006 | By Dolores Diaz, CEREP and Peter J. O’Brien, Safety Sciences Europe, Pfizer Global R&D

The statins (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A [HMG-CoA] reductase inhibitors) are drugs that inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis by blocking the formation of the cholesterol precursor mevalonate. Statins are the most effective cholesterol-lowering agents available and are considered the first line of treatment for most patients with high serum cholesterol levels1.

Four years and counting for automation

20 July 2006 | By Claire Townsend, Ph.D., Investigator, GlaxoSmithKline

As a classically trained electrophysiologist, I shall always remember my first encounter with automated patch clamp at Essen Instruments in June 2002. Essen Instruments had just developed the IonWorks HT, an instrument that can record currents from 48 cells simultaneously and perform up to 384 recordings with a drug addition…

The business benefits

20 July 2006 | By Jean-Marie Geoffroy, Ph.D., Director, Pharmaceutical Development, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

So far in 2006 we have published contributions on a variety of PAT-related topics, including training (Issue 1), NIR (Issue 2) and the role of PAT in biotechnology (Issue 3). In this article Jean-Marie Geoffroy reports on the business case for PAT with his own interpretation and charts the road…

Structural genomics, the practical way

20 July 2006 | By Frank von Delft, Principle Investigator, Protein Crystallography Group, Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Oxford

The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is an internationally funded collaboration with sites in three countries and a three-year goal of solving the 3-dimensional structures of more than 380 human proteins with particular medical relevance, and placing them in the public domain without restrictions. The structures should prove an invaluable resource…

Interfacing LIMS with ELN

20 July 2006 | By Dr Jan Hauss, Laboratory Manager, Merck KGaA

Today, electronic support for scientific research from the bench to the product is reality. For many years there has been an organic growth of different electronic systems in various areas of industry. The current challenge is to combine these electronic islands to form solid ground for integrated cost efficient systems.…

Rapid microbiology: Solutions for the next stage

20 July 2006 | By Tim Lloyd, Editor, European Pharmaceutical Review

Rapid microbiology is an exciting field for the development of new technologies and applications. There are significant challenges to be overcome and in doing so, great prospects for microbiologists and the companies that provide cutting-edge equipment.

Maintaining vaccine security

20 July 2006 | By Howard Smith, Technical and Commercial Manager, Cambridge Biostability

Ninety per cent of the world’s medical research funding is being spent on just ten per cent of the world’s health problems, mostly those afflicting the residents of wealthy countries.

SCTA for pharma

20 July 2006 | By Prof. P. A. Barnes, School of Applied Sciences, Prof. E. L. Charsley, Head of the Centre for Thermal Studies and Dr G. M. B. Parkes, Senior Lecturer in Analytical Science, University of Huddersfield

The determination of the key physical and chemical properties of a new material is essential. The melting point, glass transition temperature, the number and identification of the different phases it may have, and the temperatures at which they are formed are all of great value, not only in assessing its…

Structure, function, interaction

23 May 2006 | By Walter Kolch, University of Glasgow & Beatson Institute for Cancer Research

In the last decade proteomics has revolutionised biology and now biology starts revolutionising proteomics.

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...

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