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Biopharma

 

Next Generation Sequencing: Current realities in cancer biology

16 February 2011 | By Ross Sibson, Director of Research, Applied Cancer Biology Group, University of Liverpool

The rate of progress in molecular cell biological sciences has become dramatic. This is fuelled in part by developments in technology, none more so than in the field of nucleic acid sequencing. So-called Next Generation Sequencing Platforms promise to revolutionise our understanding of the importance of genetic differences on an…

PCR and personalised cancer medicine

16 December 2010 | By Frank McCaughan, MRC Career Development Fellow, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The delivery of personalised medicine is a key goal of modern cancer medicine and refers to the tailoring of anticancer therapy to the molecular characteristics of an individual tumour. To facilitate personalised medicine, it is important to have robust and reproducible means of gaining molecular information about a patient’s cancer…

RNAi screens for the identification and validation of novel targets: Current status and challenges

16 December 2010 | By Attila A. Seyhan, Translational Immunology, Inflammation and Immunology, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Recent advances in RNA interference (RNAi) technology and availability of RNAi libraries in various formats and genome coverage have impacted the direction and speed of drug target discovery and validation efforts. After the introduction of RNAi inducing reaagent libraries in various formats, systematic functional genome screens have been performed to…

Developing and applying recombinant antibody microarrays for high-throughput disease proteomics

16 December 2010 | By Carl A.K. Borrebaeck and Christer Wingren, Department of Immunotechnology and CREATE Health, Lund University

Deciphering crude proteomes in the quest for candidate biomarker signatures for disease diagnostics, prognostics and classifications has proven to be challenging using conventional proteomic technologies. In this context, affinity protein microarrays, and in particular recombinant antibody microarrays, have recently been established as a promising approach within high-throughput (disease) proteomics1-3. The…

Functional genomics as a tool for guiding personalised cancer treatment

29 October 2010 | By Roderick Beijersbergen, Group Leader Molecular Carcinogenesis, the Netherlands Cancer Institute

Improved understanding of the molecular alterations in cancer cells has fuelled the development of more specific and directed cancer therapies. However, it has become clear that response rates can be low due to confounding genetic alterations that render these highly specific therapies ineffective. As a result, the costs of cancer…

The Sequencing Revolution: enabling personal genomics and personalised medicine

29 October 2010 | By Bhupinder Bhullar, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

It has been 10 years since the completion of the first draft of the human genome. Today, we are in the midst of a full assault on the human genetic code, racing to uncover the genetic mechanisms that affect disease, aging, happiness, violence ... and just about every imaginable human…

MS-based clinical proteomics: biomarker discovery in men’s cancer

29 October 2010 | By Brian Flatley Dept of Chemistry, University of Reading, Reading and Harold Hopkins Dept of Urology, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospital, Reading and Peter Malone Harold Hopkins Dept of Urology, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust Hospital, Reading and Rainer Cramer Dept of Chemistry, University of Reading, Reading

Each year, approximately 10,000 men in the UK die as a result of prostate cancer (PCa) making it the third most common cancer behind lung and breast cancer. Worldwide, more than 670,000 men are diagnosed every year with the disease. Current methods of diagnosis of PCa mainly rely on the…

Polymorph screening in pharmaceutical development

19 August 2010 | By Professor Alastair J. Florence, Solid-State Research Group, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde

The majority of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are produced by crystallisation and so the phenomenon of polymorphism, whereby an organic molecule can adopt more than one crystalline form (Figure 1), is of considerable importance when trying to achieve consistent product quality during the manufacture of pharmaceutical solids and solid dosage…

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…

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.…

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…