Double-teaming for twice the productivity

Applied Biosystems, MDS Analytical Technologies double mass spec throughput to speed drug development

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CARLSBAD, Calif.—Using a multiplexing switching system, Applied Biosystems and its mass spectrometry (MS) joint-venture partner of more than 25 years, MDS Analytical Technologies, have launched Cliquid MPX-2, a high-throughput, mass spectrometry system that promises to double the speed of analysis for pharmaceutical and clinical research. The workflow system integrates a new software application with mass spectrometers, high-performance liquid chromatography systems and auto-samplers to increase throughput for faster results within Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards of regulated markets.

Cliquid is a four-click process to set up and acquire MS results. MPX-2 is a "new thing," stresses Nick Levitt, Applied Bio's senior product manager for quantitative applications within the company's proteomics and small molecule division. "It's brand new software that integrates with existing hardware. MPX-2 works with Cliquid software, but also with our Analyst software, which most pharmaceutical labs will use."

The system was introduced at this year's American Society for Mass Spectrometry conference where, according to Dave Hicks, Applied Bio's senior director of pharmaceuticals and proteomics, the reaction was very positive. It's not "vaporware," he states. "When we introduce technology it's ready to use, ship and service."

Quantitative MS using Applied Biosystems/MDS QTRAP and triple quadrupole mass spectrometers is widely used to analyze high volumes of samples, says Hicks. The new Cliquid MPX solution addresses the need of pharmaceutical companies and clinical researchers to improve the productivity and efficiency of laboratory analysis.

Traditionally, there is a lot of "dead space" from the time a sample is injected to the time the sample comes off the LC column and goes into the MS to measure signal. Cliquid MPX overcomes this problem by multiplexing samples from an LC device. The workflow is enabled by Cliquid MPX software, which allows concurrent LC/MS/MS analysis of two streams into a single mass spectrometer with either Cliquid Software or Analyst Software.

"This is an innovation in mass spectrometry to create a single point of control for managing the complete workflow. Laboratories can increase throughput while achieving regulatory compliance by using the audit and traceability functionality of Analyst software, providing the most efficient solution of its type within the life-science industry," Hicks states.

Another advantage of the system, according to Levitt, is that it's easy to use in terms of setting up and scheduling the acquisition of signals. Second, as the industry leader, Applied Bio serves a major portion of the market that is regulated by the FDA and has integrated security and audit trails within the software to ensure regulatory compliance "out of the box." Finally, MPX is a versatile software package that can work seamlessly with CTC's LEAP autosampler as well as those marketed by Shimadzu. Customers can adapt autosamplers to their application.

Life Technologies Corp. recently announced the completed merger of Applied Biosystems and Invitrogen Corp. The company had sales of more than $3 billion in 2008, employs approximately 9,500 people, and has a presence in more than 100 countries.

MDS Analytical Technologies is a business unit of MDS Inc., which is focused on the research, design, manufacture and marketing of state-of-the-art tools for mass spectrometry, drug discovery and bioresearch.

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