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Towards a comprehensive open source platform for management and analysis of High Content Screening data

19 August 2010 | By Karol Kozak, Angela Bauch, Gabor Csucs,Tomasz Pylak & Bernd Rinn, ETH Zurich

As High Content Screening (HCS) has moved into the mainstream for biological and pharmaceutical investigations, a lag of well integrated pipelines for automated acquisition, management and analysis of HCS results turns out to be a bottleneck for fully leveraging the wealth of information contained in a screen and moving to…

Indirect modulation of cardiac ion channels and implications for preclinical safety assessment

19 August 2010 | By Gül Erdemli & Dmitri Mikhailov, Center for Proteomic Chemistry, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Sciences and Albert M Kim, Translational Medicine, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Sciences

The preclinical assessment of a small molecule’s liability for QT interval prolongation is an essential part of the drug discovery process. Patch clamp assays for heterologously expressed recombinant cardiac ion channels are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry to evaluate potential drug-channel interactions. These assays are generally acute assessments and…

Process Analytical Technology: An industry perspective

19 August 2010 | By Uwe Kirschner, General Manager, Sentronic GmbH, Rick E. Cooley, Market Development Manager - Process Analytics, Dionex Corporation, Rebecca Vangenechten, Business Development, Siemens Headquarters Pharma and Kjell François, Project Leader in PAT

Process Analytical Technology (PAT) is a system for designing, analysing and controlling pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through measurements of critical quality and performance attributes of raw and processed materials to ensure final product quality, the idea of which is to become more efficient while reducing over-processing, enhancing efficiency and minimising waste.…

Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training (PIAT)

19 August 2010 | By Brian Lockwood, Director of PIAT, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester

Toxicology is the study of the harmful interactions between chemicals and biological systems. Man, as well as other animals and plants, is increasingly exposed to a huge variety of chemicals. These range from metals to large complex organic molecules, all of which are potentially toxic. A toxicologist must understand pathology,…

Applying systems biology and computer simulations to predicting idiosyncratic DILI

19 August 2010 | By David Cook, Associate Director, Global Safety Assessment, AstraZeneca

Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a rare adverse drug reaction which accounts for a significant amount of patient suffering, including death. Currently, idiosyncratic DILI is unpredictable and as a result arises late in the drug development process or even post-marketing. The prediction of idiosyncratic DILI based on preclinical or…

High content cell based primary screening for oncology targets – a perspective

25 June 2010 | By Peter Alcock, Colin Bath, Carolyn Blackett & Peter B. Simpson, Screening & Assay Sciences, Cancer Bioscience, AstraZeneca Alderley Park

Over the last 15 years, vendors have offered microscope-based instruments capable of producing images of fluorescent labelled components of cells grown in microtitre plates. These instruments are typically bundled with analysis software capable of defining the relative distribution of several fluorescent markers on a cell by cell basis1,2. As the…

Article 3: The implementation of rapid microbiological methods

24 June 2010 | By Michael J. Miller, Ph.D., President, Microbiology Consultants, LLC

This is the third in a series of articles on rapid microbiological methods that will appear in European Pharmaceutical Review during 2010. Rapid microbiological methods (RMMs) have been implemented by a number of companies around the world. In some cases, it is necessary to work with regulatory authorities in order…

High-throughput PCR based diagnostics: Linking sample handling to molecular oncology risk groups

24 June 2010 | By Ehsan G. Karimiani, Stephan Mohr & Philip J. R. Day, University of Manchester

Cancer molecular pathology broadly relies on the comparison between diseased and normal tissues, with statistically validated differences revealing cancerassociated pathways. This approach, although comparatively one-dimensional, has been remarkably successful, enabling identification of many types of malignant biomarkers and providing the means to develop pharmaceutical agents directed against pertinent biological targets.…

Novel medicines development for cancer treatment

24 June 2010 | By Hans Winkler, Global Head Oncology & Biomarker Programs, Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson

The pharmaceutical industry has reached a critical phase in its evolution. The cost and time to develop novel medicines has become unsustainable3. Reasons for this may include a much higher demand on evidence of safety and efficacy, rapidly increasing costs of contract research and the tremendous pressure on pricing and…

RNAi-based therapies for the treatment of HIV

24 June 2010 | By Marc S. Weinberg and Fiona van den Berg, Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit, Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology, University of Witwatersrand

Since the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) in 1998 and the demonstration of RNAi in mammalian cells in 2001, research into the mechanisms and applications of this pathway has moved swiftly. RNAi is capable of mediating potent and specific silencing of genes and has therefore shown promise in the development…

Trends in laboratory automation: From speed and simplicity to flexibility and information content

24 June 2010 | By Fernando A. Ramon Olayo, Manager, GlaxoSmithKline

The pharmaceutical industry has significantly influenced laboratory automation trends in the past two decades. The need to screen large collections of chemical entities in a short time with minimised consumption of reagents has driven a strong demand of parallelisation, automation, simplification and miniaturisation solutions from the suppliers of instruments, labware…

Cellular senescence as an anti-tumour mechanism

24 June 2010 | By Amancio Carnero, Scientist, Seville Biomedical Research Institute (IBIS/HUVR), Spanish National Research Council

One of the critical steps in human carcinogenesis is cellular immortalisation, a process in which cells must escape senescence and acquire an infinite lifespan. In the absence of immortalisation, although a cell might undergo malignant transformation, it could not proliferate indefinitely. Furthermore, it has been clearly established in vitro and…

Examining receptor activation: New technologies reveal how G protein-coupled receptors recognise ligands and talk to intracellular partners

24 June 2010 | By Thomas P. Sakmar, Laboratory of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Rockefeller University

Heptahelical G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are arguably the most important single class of pharmaceutical drug targets in the human genome. According to Overington, of the 266 human targets for approved drugs, a remarkable 27 per cent correspond to rhodopsin-like, or Family A, GPCRs. Despite recent dramatic advances in targeting of…

Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of drug products and drug manufacturing processes

9 May 2010 | By Prof. Thomas De Beer, Assistant-Professor, Process Analytical Technology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ghent

This article aims at supplying a concise overview on the application of Raman spectroscopic analysis methods within the pharmaceutical drug product manufacturing world. Firstly, there will be a focus on the rapid and nondestructive off-line analysis feasibility of Raman spectroscopy for final drug products. Herewith, several possible sources of error…

qPCR: Current technologies and future applications

9 May 2010 | By European Pharmaceutical Review

A diverse and widely applicable laboratory technique, qPCR is vital for the progression of drug discovery, enabling detection and quantification and commonly used for both diagnostic and basic research. This roundtable brings together experts from a wide range of pharmaceutical applications to discuss current technologies and future applications of qPCR…