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Zurich, Switzerland, 2 July 2002 – Tecan, a leading player in the Life Sciences supply industry, today announced that it has received detailed test results from its Early Access Programs for the LabCD system. This system, which includes a consumable microfluidic disc that combines microscale fluid paths, reaction chambers, and passive valves, reduces the time and cost of drug development by allowing researchers to obtain critical information much earlier in the drug discovery process. The Early Access Program, which targets applications for ADMET (Adsorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity) assays, is being carried out in collaboration with five leading pharmaceutical companies – Boehringer Ingelheim, F. Hoffmann La Roche Ltd, Wyeth, and two as yet undisclosed partners. Wyeth recently confirmed its participation in the Early Access Program and will begin evaluation of the LabCD in July this year.
The Early Access Program was designed to test the performance of the LabCD for cytochrome P450 inhibition and serum protein binding assays at customer sites. These assays constitute an important step in determining the suitability of lead compounds or molecules as potential drug candidates.
Robert Young, President of Tecan Boston, commented: ”The test results from the Early Access Program are very encouraging in that they confirm the viability of the LabCD technology. The data have validated the system as a highly effective solution for miniaturized drug discovery assays. The outstanding cooperation of all companies in the program has greatly facilitated the evaluation of the test results obtained from different locations worldwide.” He added: ”The planned launch in August this year of these first LabCD platform products should position Tecan to effectively address the estimated US$ 250 million ADMET market with fully integrated, miniaturized, validated solutions.”
Feedback from the test sites confirmed the quality and ease-of-use of the LabCD system. The LabCD effectively performed cytochrome P450 inhibition assays for multiple isoenzymes. For model inhibitor compounds, the LabCD provided good correlation between in vitro IC50 values obtained at the company sites and at Tecan laboratories. IC50, a standard measurement used in enzyme studies, is the concentration of inhibitor that decreases enzyme activity by 50%. Participants in the programs commented on the significant savings in reagents and compound consumption for fluorescent measurements and appreciated both the integrated nature of the systems and the possibility for real-time data analysis. In contrast to conventional microplate-based methods, the LabCD can deliver multiple data measurements at the same time for individual samples. Evaluations of serum protein binding, another important parameter in drug development, are scheduled for completion by the end of July 2002.
Based upon the considerable interest being generated for the LabCD, the Early Access Program is being extended to provide a Technology Access Program. In this program, participants will have the opportunity to investigate different drug discovery applications on a fee-paying basis.
Emile Sutcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of the Tecan Group, commented: “This is an exciting time in the implementation of our LabCD technology. The test results from the Early Access Program have more than matched our expectations.” He added: “We can now proceed with the final stages of making the LabCD available as a commercial platform for ADMET assays. At the same time, we will continue to expand our programs designed to develop further applications in our other business areas.”
Tecan was recently placed in the top 25 analytical and Life Science instrument companies in an industry report by Strategic Directions International Inc. Tecan was cited, together with companies like Affymetrix, Applera Corporation (Applied Biosystems), and Qiagen, as having established itself by introducing important new technologies dominating growing markets.
The LabCD system will be on display at the Drug Discovery and Technology meeting to be held in Boston, USA, on August 4-9, 2002.
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