Reducing the PAINS in High Throughput Screening: Assay design as a tool for maximising efficiency

This article will describe, with examples, how understanding the likely mechanisms of false positives in advance of screening informs the design of the hit triage, thus increasing the likelihood of discovering optimisable chemical matter and avoiding costly wasting of resource.

We describe the use of a bespoke ‘Robustness Set’ of nuisance compounds and how it can be used in conjunction with adjusting the conditions of the assay. We also present an example where hit identification was initially confounded by the presence of a common pharmaceutically-acceptable salt and will describe how biophysical data was used to characterise the interactions and triage of the hits.

By Dr Philip S. Jones and Dr Stuart P. McElroy

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