Automated laboratory workflows are commonplace in the pharmaceutical sector, offering increased throughput and process security throughout the drug discovery process. Most of these systems are dedicated to a specific task or assay, and have been optimized to streamline these repetitive tasks. Roche has taken a different approach for drug metabolism work, creating a centralized automation facility that is agile enough to respond to the changing demands of R&D.
Access to human pluripotent embryonic stem cells is enabling Genea Biocells to pioneer novel therapies to treat a number of neuromuscular diseases. Drawing on almost 30 years of research heritage, the company is using its expertise to model spinal muscular atrophy and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy to identify potential therapies.
Developing cancer drugs for clinical trials involves not only identifying and evaluating suitable agents, but also observing how they interact with the cocktail of other drugs in a cancer treatment regime. For the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre in Perth, Western Australia, increasing throughput and reducing assay volumes are essential to save money and time in the race to beat cancer.
Discovering and developing new antimicrobial drugs to tackle antibiotic resistance requires an understanding of how bacteria respond and adapt to new compounds. A range of tests are needed to determine the effi cacy of potential drugs, such as aggregation and adhesion/invasion assays. For SMALTIS, a biotechnology company in Besançon, France, test automation has dramatically improved throughput and data collection, freeing up research hours to concentrate on developing new experiments.