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Issue 3 2010



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…