Once the domain of high-throughput screening (HTS) applications, automated liquid handling systems are now used ubiquitously in drug discovery and have been fundamental in increasing throughput, driving efficiencies and improving standards of accuracy and reproducibility in pharmaceutical and biotechnology workflows.
Competing for the disposable pipette tip business. Users of automated liquid handlers today invariably have a choice – obtain disposable pipette tips from the original instrument vendor or purchase a 'compatible' product from a third party plastics manufacturer or lab supplier. Increasingly, the potential for cost savings is attracting some users to source third party tips.
The proliferation of lower cost genomics tools, and the maturing of microfluidics lab equipment into more robust tools that better interface with established research flows, could drive microfluidics devices for pharmaceutical and biomedical research to close to a $1.2 billion business over the next five years, according to our projections.
The initial success of the bulk reagent dispenser (BRD) as an automated liquidhandling product can be attributed to its simplicity and low cost. Its current role as an essential dispensing tool in those labs requiring microplate filling and assay assembly has depended on its evolution to meet changing needs, particularly assay miniaturisation.
The tug-of-war between quality and productivity is an issue facing all drug discovery companies, competing in a fierce race to bring breakthrough drugs to market before the competition.