Highlights from SLAS2023: Day One

San Diego Conference Centre

The first full day of SLAS2023 offered plenty for visitors to see and learn from. Here are some of the biggest launches that were on offer throughout day one of the show.

PerkinElmer targets screening methods

End-to-end solutions provider PerkinElmer launched two new products at the show targeting both high high-throughput screening (HTS) applications and next-generation screening (NGS).

The company launched its EnVision Nexus system at the show, which is designed for demanding HTS applications and to help accelerate drug discovery efforts. The system features high-throughput fast dual detectors, enabling researchers to screen millions of samples with the increased accuracy, speed and sensitivity. The company has enabled the system to be fully automated and integrated for 24/7 workflow-driven automation.

It has applications for major detection technologies, including fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarisation, absorbance, luminescence and time-resolved fluorescence (TRF). This enables researchers to perform a wide range of assays for different applications within one instrument.

“We’re transforming drug discovery, and it all begins in the lab where researchers can leverage multimode plate reader technology like the EnVision Nexus system to increase R&D productivity at nearly every stage of their process,” said PerkinElmer Senior Vice President of Life Sciences Alan Fletcher. “By focusing on workflow simplification and expanded assay capabilities in a state-of-the-art microplate reader, complemented by our optimised reagent technologies, our team has created an all-around high-performing system built for today and the future.”

The company also debuted its Zephyr G3 NGS iQ workstation, an integrated benchtop system that enables the automated construction of up to 96 NGS libraries. This workstation incorporates a high-performing liquid handler, integrated thermocycler, robotic arm and all deck accessories and peripherals, allowing laboratories to increase capacity and reduce errors by automating even the most complex NGS methods with a higher degree of reproducibility

The ZephyrG3 NGS iQ workstation is available with an optional cloud-based software to further simplify the creation and editing of NGS protocols by utilising a single-pane of-glass interface and developing methods from scientific intent rather than code.

CN Bio extends microphysiological system portfolio

Microphysiological systems provider CN Bio launched its PhysioMimix Single-organ Higher Throughput (HT) System at SLAS2023. As the company’s first HT system, it has been designed to overcome adoption barriers currently limiting the use of predictive human liver models within drug discovery workflows. It has also been designed to enable use within earlier stages when larger-scale comparative studies that investigate the efficacy, disposition or safety of lead candidate drugs are required.

Users of the system will be offered a scalable solution that combines a reduced cost-per-chip with increased run capacity. CN Bio also launched a new multi-chip consumable plate alongside the system to miniaturise CN Bio’s well-characterised and validated human liver model for applications.

Aptly named, the Liver-48 plate allows 48 liver chip assays within one laboratory-standard SBS footprint. It supports the incorporation of replicates, controls and seven-point dose-response curves to improve data robustness and reproducibility. CN Bio hopes that together, its launches can enable the benefits of human-relevant organ-on-a-chip (OOC) insights to be realised earlier in drug discovery, facilitating more confident decision making and the potential recovery of overlooked therapeutic candidates.

The launch follows the FDA Modernisation Act 2.0 which removes the mandatory requirement for animal testing in the development of drugs for toxicity where enhanced performance is proven using in vitro alternatives.

Dr Paul Brooks, CEO, CN Bio, said: “The timing of this launch is particularly pertinent following significant US legislative changes, which should alleviate another barrier to more widespread OOC adoption and emphasises the potential of MPS to revolutionise drug discovery processes. Representing the next generation of OOC technology, the PhysioMimix Single-organ HT System extends and complements our existing portfolio, enabling scientists to pick the solution, or solutions, that best meet their research needs and phase of drug discovery, to bring more confident decision making to the process and the potential recovery of flawed drugs.”

Azenta goes cryo

Life sciences solutions provider Azenta has extended its automated cryogenic technology with the launch of its Cryo Store Pico, an automated storage system for biological samples. Cryo Store Pico is an extension of the company’s existing cryogenic solutions and provides an automated solution for clinical and laboratory applications.

The technology offers features for cell and gene therapy developers and manufacturers, such as end stage deployment at the clinic or hospital. More so, controlled access and traceability supports regulatory compliance and its size and design enable its use for researchers within the lab.

Speaking about the launch, Erica Waller, Product Manager for the Pico said: “Pico takes our proven automation capabilities and scales it down for the lab or the clinic, bringing the sample integrity and process rigor of automation closer to the point of use.”

Carterra expands instrument portfolio

Technologies provider Carterra expanded its instrumentation portfolio with the launch of its LSAXT instrument, which brings augmented sensitivity to its LSA platform.

Carterra’s LSA antibody discovery and characterisation platform was launched in 2018 to enable automated workflows in single unattended runs. It is a fully integrated platform that combines patented flow printing microfluidics with high throughput surface plasmon resonance (SPR) detection.

The company’s new LSAXT instrument provides greater sensitivity to enable additional applications for discovery and characterisation of therapeutics with greater throughput and efficiency. The LSAXT brings augmented sensitivity to the LSA platform enabling additional applications throughout drug discovery and development. Its expanded range of applications include growing areas of drug discovery such as proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs), membrane proteins, DNA-Encoded Library (DEL) compounds, and rapid kinetic systems such as cytokines, protein-protein inhibitors, and Fc gamma receptors.

Speaking about the launch of the LSAXT at SLAS 2023, Christopher Silva, Vice President of Marketing and Product at Carterra said: “This is a great day for biologics discovery scientists and for Carterra. You always run the risk of missed expectations when you launch a follow-on product after a game changer like the LSA. But we’ve proved that with the LSAXT the story only gets better for us and our customers.”

Sciex and HighRes BioSolutions collaborate

Analytical technologies leader Sciex announced a collaboration with laboratory automation company HighRes Biosolutions focused on adding automation benefits to some of Sciex’s systems.

The collaboration will see HighRes Biosolutions integrate automation solutions, powered by its Cellario software, into Sciex’s  mass spectrometry technology, in particular its Echo MS system. The combined offering aims to provide comprehensive and customisable workflows for high-throughput screening, high-throughput absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) and synthetic biology studies.

Cellario integrates all devices and software within a laboratory, helping scientists customise and implement technologies to produce data so they can execute their work. Customers with Cellario can now connect to the Echo MS system and data collection software to help manage large amounts of sample handling and analysis.

“The Echo MS system was built with flexibility in mind and meant to bolt on to any existing automation platform,” said Jose Castro-Perez, Senior Director of Market Development at SCIEX. “Our customers tell us that there is a need to incorporate more automation either fit for purpose or customisable to specific workflow needs. This collaboration provides the customisability and ability that customers seek.”

“We are extremely excited to collaborate with SCIEX to deliver automated analytical solutions that increase throughput and enhance data capture at unprecedented scale,” said Ira Hoffman, CEO at HighRes Biosolutions. “With Cellario and the Echo MS system, we’re redefining the impact of lab automation on bioanalytical workflows, turning data into insight.”



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