Early drug discovery used to be conducted mainly in a target-agnostic fashion, focusing on qualitative readouts from a living system - cells, tissue, or organisms - and asking the question, did this entity affect the phenotype?
High-content screening (HCS) is a well-established approach for the multiparametric analysis of cellular events. Since its first introduction more than a decade ago, high content imaging systems have continually evolved with many improvements enabled to meet user demands of greater flexibility and the growing requirements of assays involving complex cellular disease models.
Over the past five years, a majority of HTS laboratories have adopted high content screening (HCS) in their operations. As HTS laboratories have sought more biologically-relevant assays, cell-based assays and high content screening technologies have become more widespread.
There have been major improvements in the instrument offerings and tools that enable high content screening (HCS) over the past decade.
The number of high content screens will increase by 50% over the coming year; signal pathway analysis was seen as the most relevant high content screening (HCS) application; with greatest interest in applying HCS coming from oncology groups.
Over the past decade, the use of cell-based assays has accelerated in modern drug discovery. Indeed, the majority of assays in either target validation or lead identification/optimisation all now employ cell-based technologies.
The use of high content screening within HTS is growing and with many past hurdles now overcome, the need for effective tools for data analysis is becoming paramount.