PALO ALTO, Calif.—Technology giant Hewlett-PackardDevelopment Co. (HP) recently released a drug research application for thecompany's inkjet technology that reportedly enables pharmaceutical companies tomore efficiently develop better drugs through vastly more precise dispensing ofdosages.
According to HP, inkjet technology brings the sameefficiencies to the drug discovery process that it brought to printing,"allowing for on-demand, small-volume, high-precision production at costssignificantly lower than existing analog processes."
HP says its high-performance inkjet dispensing technology isnow being used to speed the evaluation of how potential drug compounds impactbiologic agents like cancer cells at very low concentrations. This newcapability can help researchers significantly improve accuracy when evaluatingdrug safety and effectiveness, testing for drug interactions and developing newdrugs, the firm says.
HP also says its methodology can decrease expensive labwareand biological fluid waste associated with complex, conventional testingmethods, reducing research costs. The process also can improve productivity byeliminating many time-consuming and tedious steps in the drug discoveryprocess, according to HP.
The company cites a recent Nature report which found that pharmaceutical companiesinvest nearly $16 billion in drug discovery research each year evaluating novelchemical compounds as potential drugs to prevent or treat diseases such asdiabetes or cancer.
"Current methods for drug dosing rely on costly manual orautomated processes, which are time consuming, error prone and wasteful," saysKathy Tobin, vice president and general manager of Specialty Printing Systemsat HP. "Our inkjet 'scalable printing technology' can precisely and rapidlydispense droplets that have one-third the width of a human hair, offeringpharmaceutical companies the high-performance dispensing necessary tostreamline critical R&D processes and speed drug discovery research."
HP adds that it continues to evaluate other important newmarket spaces, such as in-vitrodiagnostics, where its inkjet technology can have a positive impact.
HP is working with several leading pharmaceutical companiesto incorporate its dispensing technology into their own workflows, with verypromising results, the company says. The company did not name specific pharmacustomers.