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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.
Clinical diagnostics company Ambry Genetics focuses on the identification of germline mutations, detecting large deletions and duplications primarily by next generation sequencing. Automation holds the key to efficient high throughput assays, ensuring optimum productivity.
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.
The rising global problem of antimicrobial resistance has led to growing pressure on food producers to eliminate the use of prophylactic antibiotics as an additive in livestock feeds. To help combat the potential risk this poses to animal health, Agro BioSciences is harnessing the power of the microbiota present in the gut of chickens, pigs and cows to try and eliminate the growth of pathogens.
Microbiome research is still in its infancy, with little currently understood about the role micro-organisms play in both maintaining our day-to-day health and the genesis of disease. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute are using next generation sequencing to establish a baseline of the microbiota present in healthy individuals as a starting point for the development of new therapeutic strategies for a wide range of diseases.
Maintaining a flexible approach can be difficult in biopharmaceutical research; core laboratories must balance the ability to adapt to individual project requirements with the need for efficient, high throughput processing of ever-increasing sample numbers. Novo Nordisk’s Research Bioanalysis Department has adopted a semi-automated workflow, which combines the versatility to work across the company’s various research areas with accurate and reproducible testing of thousands of samples a day.
The biosimilars market is expanding rapidly as the patents expire for an increasing number of high profile biopharmaceutical agents. The complex nature of biologics requires extensive characterization of the production techniques and in vivo effects of new biosimilars before they can be released onto the market. Coherus Biosciences is using advanced laboratory automation to help screen chromatography conditions as part of its downstream purification processes for new biosimilars.
The Monash Antibody Technologies Facility (MATF) in Victoria, Australia, has added a new dimension to its high throughput service, off ering screening for antibody functionality. This time-consuming phase is crucial for many projects, and can now be outsourced to MATF, where comprehensive and fl exible automation completes testing in a fraction of the time.
The Institute for Product Quality, based in Berlin, has grown into a service laboratory that provides virtually any and every test required by the food market, from microbiology to pesticide testing. Using its expertise in food analytics and kit development, and with new, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities in the Berlin-Adlershof science park, ifp provides testing services and kits to the industry and public alike.