You would think that the standardisation of methods within in vitro ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) testing would mean that setting up high throughput methods within a contract research organisation (CRO) is relatively straightforward. However, successfully running an ADME-Tox CRO requires flexibility to meet the many different customer demands. This may include variations in protocols to include different concentrations, species, strain, gender, cofactors, time points, isoforms, pH to name but a few.
To achieve this flexibility requires a highly specific and customised LIMS (laboratory information management system) which is constantly being adapted to improve efficiency and incorporate robust checks to ensure data quality. At Cyprotex, we have a team of highly skilled software engineers who work closely with the scientists in designing workflow processes for automated compound registration, laboratory task orders, barcode reading, liquid handling scripts, analytical sample lists, data processing and report writing.
By developing such a system, known as LabsysTM, over 3.3 million samples have been analysed in 2014 from 1975 distinct assay protocols with a team of less than 50 laboratory scientists , enabling us to achieve an impressive combination of both flexibility and throughput. Dr Laura Hinton who runs the UK operations comments, ‘We are very lucky to have such a powerful system which streamlines our processes ensuring robust screening of large numbers of compounds in a vast number of different protocol variations. We have recently transferred the technology to our US facility in Watertown near Boston, improving the turnaround times and access of these services to our US clients. Our HT ADME facility forms just one part of our business focused on the area of drug discovery. Other areas of the business where automation has proved valuable include our in vitro toxicology and, more recently, our biosciences division. Within the ADME field, our operations span right through to late stage DDI studies where automation plays less of a role but where we still benefit from some of the quality aspects that our software systems bring.’
Cyprotex are attending the Boston Society HTP ADME conference on the July 23, 2015 at the Broad Institute in MA, USA to showcase their new US high throughput ADME facility. Maria Bacolod, who heads up this facility at our Watertown site near Boston, along with Ben Butterfield our US Executive Director of Business Development will be attending the event to discuss Cyprotex capabilities and specific customer screening requirements.