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BioAscent invests £1m to expand drug discovery service offering
BioAscent has further enhanced its comprehensive service offering in integrated drug discovery and compound management, with a £1m/$1.3m investment in new instrumentation and equipment.
The investment follows consistent growth, particularly over the last two years, with numerous successful projects delivered by BioAscent’s growing team of highly experienced drug discovery scientists.
The additional instrumentation includes a FLIPR Penta screening system and a Biacore 8k Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) system, as well as a new workstation for plate set-up during compound management, and updated IT infrastructure.
The new FLIPR Penta screening system gives BioAscent additional capabilities in developing and running high-throughput cellular screening assays for measuring rapid kinetic events, such as intracellular ion flux in response to GPCR or ion channel activation. GPCRs are one of the most successful target classes for drug development, and BioAscent has proven expertise and a growing reputation in GPCR research. The company has recently conducted a number of successful GPCR hit-finding projects for biotech customers, and since the new system was installed, the team has already commenced a high throughput screen of the BioAscent 125k diversity library against a GPCR target.
The new Biacore 8k SPR system gives BioAscent a valuable orthogonal technology to validate clients’ hit compounds, as well as profile the kinetics of compounds in hit to lead and lead optimisation programmes. The technology also provides BioAscent with an additional key technique for screening its own internal fragment library for clients and complements the exceptional biophysical assay development and screening capabilities and expertise already offered via its existing Thermal Shift and Microscale Thermophoresis (MST) capabilities.
BioAscent’s compound management service continues to grow successfully, achieving compound annual revenue growth of 100% per year since 2016. The company offers state-of-the-art compound stores and manages customer libraries ranging from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand compounds, in both liquid and solid formats. In a recent survey, 100% of respondents said they would recommend BioAscent to their peers or colleagues. “Customer feedback has been really positive,” said BioAscent’s Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Sylviane Boucharens. “We have always given customers the peace of mind that their compounds are stored securely, their inventory is up-to-date and trackable, and compounds can be accessed and delivered quickly and easily in screen-ready format – something that is especially critical for innovative biotechs working with a network of CROs. With the new equipment we can now offer even more sophisticated plating at a very cost-effective price, and the increased capacity will mean reduced lead times for clients, and also increased contingency planning.”
Commenting on the investment Paul Smith, BioAscent’s CEO, said: “We have the experience and expertise in the team to support a wide range of drug discovery projects, and we are committed to delivering the highest quality research, cost-effectively for our clients. Our investment in new systems and ensuring that the team has the best instrumentation at their disposal is a reflection of this commitment.”