The interrogation of biological systems enables the verification of hypotheses around biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms and the ability to modulate them. This is achieved through assays whose goal is to generate a measurable signal in response to a change in a biological system. Nowadays, there are several assay technologies available that are able to robustly report for a given event in a biochemical or cellular context. However, they must often be adapted and validated to the specific needs of a project in assay optimization efforts. Despite this, there remain several areas where new assays have to be developed to be able to properly measure what is the biological outcome of an intervention.
We have a decades-long experience in both assay development and assay optimization. Our view is very production oriented and we understand that it is often best to provide an appropriate solution for a specific goal of the project in a timely fashion, rather than aiming at fancy setups. Our approach is to:
- Define the biological question the assay has to respond to
- Identify the best suited biological model and assay technology in order to align relevance and realization time
- Thoroughly validate the assay and provide guidance on how to best interpret the results
To facilitate assay development and optimization we take advantage of our integrated environment where customized reagents and biological systems can be produced. Some examples could be:
- The production and qualification of recombinant proteins
- The production of probes of tool compounds in the form of small molecules, peptides or even antibodies
- The generation of modified cell lines for reporter systems and for validation purposes
- The use of relevant cells such as primary cells or iPSC
- The use of orthogonal biophysical readouts to validate an assay outcome.
In assay development and optimization, the scope for which an assay is generated can heavily influence its realization. We understand the difference between high-throughput and drug discovery-oriented assays where robustness and throughput are of primary importance, and discovery biology assays where more sophisticated approaches must be carried out.
We have successfully developed and validated assays for a number of purposes, such as:
- Enzymatic assays (kinases, phosphatases, ubiquitin related enzymes, acetyl-transferases, deacetylases, methyl transferases, deglycosylase, metabolic enzymes, etc.)
- Binding assays both for membrane proteins and for the protein-protein interaction targeted drug discovery programs
- Orthogonal biophysics readouts (SPR, MS, NMR)
- Cellular assays: reported based (protein stability, interaction and transcriptional readouts) immunoassays, phenotypic assays (imaging), cytometry, etc.
- Pharmacodynamic readouts
The possibility of a therapeutic intervention is based on the modulation of the biology of a given biological system. The ability to correctly measure such variations is instrumental to the success of drug discovery programs. For this reason and to streamline your project, we provide an integrated approach to produce the best possible assay tools for assay development and optimization.