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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…

Quality through collaboration

24 March 2006 | By EPR

Marc Casper, Senior Vice President, Thermo Electron Corp., believes there are exciting times ahead for R&D and that collaborations will speed the development of the tools required. Tim Lloyd found out more.

RS coupled to separations

24 March 2006 | By Cees Gooijer, Freek Ariese and Reyer J. Dijkstra, Dept. of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, Laser Centre Vrije Universiteit

Currently, Raman spectroscopy (RS) is rapidly becoming a mature analytical technique in the pharmaceutical world. Thus far, it is used almost exclusively in a stand-alone mode, since coupling with liquid separation methods hardly seemed realistic in practice. However, as outlined in this article, recent developments are quite promising and such…

A vision for the future

24 March 2006 | By Dr. Manuela Scholz, Leiter der Herstellung (Product Supply Release Responsible), Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals

Due to the need for improvement in the cost structure and efficiency of the pharmaceutical industry, the introduction of NIR analytical techniques in combination with PAT applications is a promising opportunity for cycle time reduction and machine utilisation increase.

Synchrotron radiation: current status and future landscape

24 March 2006 | By E J MacLean, P J Rizkallah, CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory and J R Helliwell, School of Chemistry, The University of Manchester

Synchrotron radiation (SR) has had a profound impact on the capabilities of structural chemistry and biology. The first dedicated SR X-ray source was the UK’s SRS, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2005. This article provides an overview and several case studies that illustrate the pivotal role that the pharmaceutical…

Advances in fast ion chromatography

24 March 2006 | By Charles A. Lucy and Sarah Pelletier, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta

Ion chromatography (IC) allows the determination of trace ions using low capacity high efficiency columns possessing fixed ion exchange sites. Combined with suppressed conductivity detection, IC yields parts-per-billion detection of the seven common inorganic anions (F-, Cl-, NO2-, Br-, NO3-, HPO42- and SO42-) and to a lesser extent carboxylic acids,…

Integration is key

24 March 2006 | By E. Allen, T. Mant, C. Vose: Guy’s Drug Research Unit, Quintiles Limited

Drug development has become more complex and significantly more expensive. There has been an estimated 55% increase in the critical path development costs since the year 20001. More than 50% of these costs are incurred in later phase development (Phase IIb and III studies).

Co-operation through certification

24 March 2006 | By Bengt Ljungqvist, Ph.D. and Berit Reinmüller, Ph.D. KTH Stockholm

To verify that cleanroom and clean zones are adequately installed and functioning they are usually validated during three occupancy states. First, when the installation is complete with all services connected and functioning, as-built; secondly during at-rest conditions when equipment is installed and running in a manner agreed upon by customer…

HTS using siRNA libraries

2 February 2006 | By Quan Du, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, Meihong Chen, Chinese Human Genome Center Beijing, Claes Wahlestedt, Scripps Florida and Zicai Liang, Karolinska Institute

Although synthetic siRNA libraries are becoming more available, most high throughput siRNA library-based screening was carried out with siRNA libraries encoded by different vectors. In this article, siRNA library construction methods and HTS applications are summarised.

Connecting HCS to CNS drug targets

2 February 2006 | By Carmel B. Nanthakumar, Senior Research Scientist – Automated Imaging and Electrophysiology, Neuroscience Research Centre, Merck Sharp and Dohme

HCS has been implemented as a key technology to address complex biology associated with CNS drug targets. This review will describe a new generation of HCS assays including multiplexed HCS assays with biochemical markers, novel techniques for studying receptor internalisation and the application of HCS to neural network cultures that…

In vitro and in vivo techniques in CNS drug discovery

2 February 2006 | By Vahri Beaumont, Magnus Ivarsson and Keith A. Wafford, The Neuroscience Research Centre, Merck Sharp and Dohme, UK

In spite of an increased understanding of brain mechanisms in recent years, there has been a lack of major new drugs being registered for psychiatric and neurological conditions1,2. To prioritise drug discovery resources and provide early proof-of-concept studies for novel compounds and mechanisms, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly focusing on…

The HUPO Brain Proteome Project

2 February 2006 | By Kai A. Reidegeld, Michael Hamacher, Helmut E. Meyer, Christian Stephan; MPC, Medical Proteom-Center, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Martin Blüggel, Gerhard Körting, Daniel Chamrad, Christian Scheer; Protagen AG, Herbert Thiele; Bruker Daltonik GmbH, Chris Taylor, Michael Müller, Rolf Apweiler, Philip Jones; EBI, European Bioinformatics Institute, Lennart Martens; Department of Medical Protein Research, Ghent University

The proteome analysis started by the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO)1 is the second big international consortium project after the sequencing of the human genome by the Human Genome Project (HUGO)2. The aim of the HUPO Brain Proteome Project (BPP)3 is to derive in depth knowledge of the brain from analysing…

Cost, knowledge and convenience: facing the facts

2 February 2006 | By Professor David Littlejohn, Head of the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, Director of CPACT at the University of Strathclyde

There can be no doubt that the FDA’s initiative on Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) has had an enormous impact on the pharmaceutical industries. However, the emergence of ’born again‘ PAT devotees in pharma companies has caused mild amusement in other industries where on-line analysis has been an integral part of…

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