Operations Manager, Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services
For pharmaceutical companies, investigational compounds are as good as gold, and just as precious. For service providers, the greatest value comes from speed, efficiency and reputation-building reliability. The fully-automated, highly accurate, robotic handling of miniscule amounts of liquid that Labcyte provides has checked all of those boxes for Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services.
In his oncology drug discovery lab at the Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services Phenotypic Screening Center of Excellence in St. Charles, Missouri, Operations Manager Jesse Parry enjoys the benefits of not one, but two Labcyte systems: The Echo 550 and Echo 555 Liquid Handlers.
The lab’s Labcyte experience began with an Echo 550 Liquid Handler. The staff quickly realized the benefits that the instrument’s performance and service provided. Eurofins Pharma Discovery Services then purchased a second, upgraded, instrument once the latest model became available. Parry added the second machine when he moved the lab from Redmond, Washington, three years ago. Parry has now integrated their use in many other assay service lines, from electrophysiology to toxicology and beyond to custom assay services.
The draw of the Labcyte Echo 555 Liquid Handler is the speed at which compounds can be added to 384-well plates, and the accuracy and flexibility in which it does it for full integration into a robotic system. In particular, the automation aspect was appealing to Parry. Prior to joining Eurofins four years ago, Parry worked for 11 years as the director of a translational research lab focused on the non-invasive imaging of gene transfer and gene therapy at the Washington University School of Medicine. He knows the hard work involved in manual drug testing, involving several hours and higher volumes of compounds needed, as well as higher concentrations of DMSO in some instances.
Now he can perform screening of compounds against hundreds of cancer cell lines in a matter of minutes per cell line with minimal need for hands on time. From de-lidding and placement of plates, to the addition and transportation of multiple compounds from source location to final stages, the process is under full robotic control, handled with unparalleled precision. It also has the capability of being monitored and controlled remotely, allowing for additional oversight of the process.