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Issue 2 2005



Target validation

20 May 2005 | By Jeroen DeGroot, PhD; Anne-Marie Zuurmond, PhD, Daniel Eefting, MD; Ruud A Bank, PhD; and Paul Quax, PhD.; TNO Quality of Life, Business Unit Biomedical Research

All diseases have a genetic component, whether inherited or resulting from the body's response to environmental stresses such as viruses, toxins or trauma. The successes of the human genome project have enabled researchers to pinpoint errors in genes that cause or contribute to disease.


The promise of pancreatic beta cells

20 May 2005 | By William Carley, Ph.D., Experimental Medicine, Pfizer Global R&D

Biomarker application during drug development is driven by the need to define disease and therapeutic efficacy/safety earlier, better and with reduced cost.


Easy access for the scientific community

20 May 2005 | By Laura Hohmann, Research Associate, Daniel Martin M.D., Director, Proteomics Facility, The Institute for Systems Biology

The past decade has witnessed an explosion in the field of proteomics. This development has been driven by the development of database search algorithms, expansion of sequence databases and improvements in mass spectrometry instrumentation. Quantitative techniques using isotopic dilution have allowed quantitative experiments. The expanding opportunities have propelled the development…


A powerful tool for drug discovery

20 May 2005 | By Jianwei Liu and Clay W Scott, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, USA

Receptor-ligand binding assays are extremely powerful tools in drug discovery. With advances in technology and methodology, the traditional radioligand filtration assays are being replaced with higher throughput homogeneous assays. Non-radioactive methods have been developed recently that are particularly applicable to early phase drug discovery.


Integration of miniaturisation technologies

20 May 2005 | By Peter Hodder, Ph.D., Director & Head of Lead ID, Scripps Florida

In pharmaceutical drug discovery research, several technological advances have moved in vitro biological and biochemical experiments from the laboratory benchtop to fully automated high-throughput screening (HTS) robotic platforms1,2.


Getting a handle on neuronal behaviour in culture

20 May 2005 | By Peter B. Simpson, Senior Research Fellow – Automated imaging, Neuroscience Research Centre, Merck Sharp and Dohme

In drug discovery for CNS diseases, the use of complex neural cell culture systems offers many advantages. Innovations in high content screening enable us to identify compounds which affect key cell biological properties in such cultures. We can bridge the divide between kinetic and endpoint screening by use of another…


Patch clamp electrophysiology steps up a gear

20 May 2005 | By Derek J. Trezise, Assay Development & Compound Profiling, GlaxoSmithKline Research & Development

The advent of higher throughput patch clamp electrophysiology systems has begun to change the face of ion channel drug discovery. Systems such as IonWorksHT, PatchXpress and QPatch should allow electrophysiology to be re-positioned from an occasional reagent and compound ‘spot-check’ method, to a frontline gene expression analysis tool and drug…


Exploring new sources of raw material

20 May 2005 | By Bernhard Schrader, Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Universität Duisburg-Essen and Hartwig Schulz, Federal Centre for Breeding Research on Cultivated Plants, Institute of Plant Analysis

Raman spectroscopy using excitation in the near infrared allows non-destructive Raman analyses of pharmaceutical products as well as of plant or animal tissues. This radiation excites only minimal fluorescence of the samples or impurities and has only minimal photo-physical and photochemical activity. Raman analysis of plants allows the efficient exploration…


Harbinger of change

20 May 2005 | By Ali Afnan, Ph.D., Process Analytical Technologist, FDA/CDER/OPS

The pharmaceutical industry plays a major role in the lives of individuals by providing critical therapeutic medicines. This places the industry in the public eye, as does drug pricing, safety and efficacy, the stock markets and courting with several different regulatory bodies, with differing legal requirements, around the world. The…


Implementation, validation and registration

20 May 2005 | By Paul J Newby PhD, GlaxoSmithKline R&D

In the last decade interest in Rapid Microbiological Methods (RMMs) has grown considerably. Technologies such as ATP bioluminescence, solid phase laser cytometry and genetic-based identification systems are being vigorously investigated. Validation and regulatory requirements for such new technologies are beginning to emerge. However, there is a lot of confusion and…


The future of process design

20 May 2005 | By Salvatore Mascia, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge

Rheology – not to be confused with theology – represents an important and distinctive area of modern engineering science: the ability to specify and control a material's rheology and associated microstructures is a key aspect of many process and product innovations. In the pharmaceutical sector, emulsions and the cohesive wet…


Die-wall stress measurement

20 May 2005 | By Stephen W. Hoag, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland

Many of the physical factors that affect tablet quality are formed during compaction. Thus, the accurate measurement of tablet compaction will help researchers to better understand compaction and die-wall stress measurements are a critical aspect of being able to measure and understand the three-dimensional nature of compaction.


Ten steps to success

20 May 2005 | By Dr Christopher Haas, Senior Director Pharmaceutical Technology, Schering Plough Corporation

The technology transfer management process reflects an integrated approach to the best practices benchmarked. A well-defined and well-designed technology transfer process is critical for ensuring successful commercial launch. Technology transfer includes manufacturing, packaging and test method transfer to commercial sites.