As we kick off the start of the New Year, we are excited to continue the momentum and progress made in 2015 on our key initiatives. Here are some of the highlights of areas of focus at Labcyte in 2016.
Some of the projects we’ve been most excited about is our collaboration work with AstraZeneca. We encourage you to check out their article in this month’s issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery titled “Towards a hit for every target” (http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v15/n1/full/nrd.2015.19.html), where our collaborators at AZ discuss how technological advances such as acoustic liquid handling coupled with novel collaborative strategies for compound sourcing and management are poised to transform the utility of high-throughput screening and enable novel screening approaches.
We are looking forward to working with AZ this year on the development of an acoustic tube system which will revolutionize compound management by reducing compound volumes and improving data quality. Another collaboration initiative with AZ involves developing acoustic sample handling for mass spectrometry to advance drug discovery. At last year’s SLAS conference, AZ’s Jonathan Wingfield won the 2015 SLAS Innovation Award for his presentation on acoustic loading of a mass spectrometer. You can view the presentation here. Dr. Wingfield will also have a poster (#3014) at this year’s SLAS conference titled “Further Development of an Acoustic Source for High Throughput Label Free Mass Spectrometry Screening.”
Synthetic biology and other genomics applications have been major areas of growth for Echo Liquid Handlers. Scientists at many institutions have demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce their costs for genomics pipelines by using much smaller reagent volumes with an Echo handler. Synthetic biology is one field where small volumes and reliable automation make a real difference: in protocols from gene synthesis and assembly to quality control and library prep, experts have found that Echo liquid handlers reduce the risk of cross-contamination, accelerate processes, and decrease costs. To learn more, check out this paper from Amyris on multiplexed pipelines; this paper on gene synthesis and assembly from the University of Edinburgh; and this application note from Radiant Genomics describing cost reductions to an NGS pipeline.
Personalized medicine continues to be a key area of focus for Labcyte, as more treatment centers uncover the benefits of using the Echo Liquid Handler to rapidly and cost-effectively test combinations of therapies on patient cells ex vivo. In 2015, we announced an expansion of our collaboration with the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), an organization that has been pioneering this strategy through its Individualized Systems Medicine approach. FIMM has published several journal articles since the start of our collaboration, most recently in Nature and in the Blood Cancer Journal. The articles highlight the success of their Individualized Systems Medicine program, which leverages Labcyte products for high-throughput drug sensitivity and resistance testing. In our newest collaboration, FIMM’s High Throughput Biomedicine unit will apply the capabilities of Labcyte’s liquid handlers in genomic and proteomic applications downstream of drug sensitivity testing.
You can view the growing number of articles and publications using Labcyte technology in the area of personalized medicine here.
We are proud of the growing and diversified application base that now utilizes the Echo system for liquid handling. This broad utility is showcased in a special issue of the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) titled “Advancing Scientific Innovation with Acoustic Droplet Ejection,” in which most of the more than 20 publications in the special issue rely on Labcyte’s Echo technology. The print edition will be distributed in late January, but you can access the articles online free of charge here.