Alliance of a lifetime

Almac and TTP Labtech partner on fluorescence lifetime technology for screening applications

Amy Swinderman
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CRAIGAVON, Northern Ireland—Two leaders in instrumentation,Almac and TTP Labtech, have joined forces to give researchers an innovativetool to perform screening applications without the bottleneck of false hits.
This improved screening performance comes in the form offluorescence lifetime technology (FLT), a reading modality that offers arobust, antibody-free, homogeneous assay platform that enables researchers toavoid interference from fluorescent compounds within a screening library. Theoffering combines Almac's FLEXYTE assay with TTP Labtech's Ameon system.
Developed for peptide engineering and chemical synthesis anddesign, Almac's FLEXYTE assay platform offers solutions for many majortherapeutic target classes, including kinases, proteases, phosphatases, DUB andan increasing number of epigenetic targets. The platform, which is still indevelopment, harnesses the power and potential of FLT to provide an efficientand economical platform for screening and profiling.
TTP Labtech touts its Ameon system as "the next generationof FLT reader technology." By offering real-time decay curve analysis, theAmeon system provides speed, precision and data quality for FLT assays that canbe readily integrated into high-throughput screening workflows.
The combined solution represents a potential game changerfor any researcher performing screening applications, says Dr. Wayne Bowen,chief scientific officer of TTP Labtech, which is based in Cambridge, England.
"There is some pain in the industry with some of the technologieswe have now. People don't want to admit it, but until a new technology comesalong, you are stuck there. I certainly see FLT being regarded as the bestscreening application compared to some of the existing technologies we havenow," says Bowen.
To overcome those hurdles and bring a better solution to themarket, "this area of research needed two well-known industry players get intothis market," says Bowen.
"One reason this technology has not yet come into fruitionis that there has not been an offering that is strong in both a reader andreagents. This is paramount—you must have that," he says. "If people are goingto reconfigure their screening applications to FLT, that is a big undertaking.You need credibility to adopt these types of technologies, a sense ofsecurity."
Both companies tout the experience and market-leadingposition of the other.
"Almac is a leader in FLT reagents, so we are very pleasedto be hooking up with them. We like to work with the best," says Bowen.
TTP Labtech has an equally strong reputation for introducingnovel technologies in the instrumentation market, says Dr. Robert Grundy,director of research alliances at Almac.
"They are a trusted, recognized brand in the instrumentationworld," Grundy says. "They are very easy to work with in the sense that theyembrace new ideas and are very dogmatic in their approach to technologydevelopment. It is very important to Almac that we are complemented by acompany that is well-known to people and trusted."
Because neither company likes to second-guess the market,the combined offering is in beta testing and will be until summer.
"We want to supply a product that people can use, and meettheir specific demands," says Bowen. "We will test this at a few sites and getfeedback before launching it later this year."
The partners are targeting pharma companies withlarge-screening capabilities and interest, and service providers who arelooking to provide screening services, says Grundy.
"We believe this technology will enable them to get more outof their compound libraries, and do it for less and more quickly," he says.

Amy Swinderman

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