Symcel unveils cellular bio-energetics solutions

Aim of solution shared at 2016 NovAliX conference is to enhance phenotype-based drug discovery

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KISTA, Sweden—Symcel, creator of the cell-based assay tool calScreener, took the opportunity to express how cellular bio-energetics might enable better phenotype-based drug discovery at the third annual NovAliX event in Strasbourg, France—this year’s conference, which ended June 10, was primarily focused on how best to develop the synergy between biophysics and medicinal chemistry to enable the development of better drugs.
The impact of bio-calorimetry formed the centerpiece of Symcel’s analysis presented to industry opinion leaders and scientists from across the drug discovery and development sectors.
“To date, we have seen calorimetry successfully applied in academic communities for biosciences. However, since it is a proven and well-tested technology for biophysical measurement, bio-calorimetry possesses strong characteristics that make it a highly viable and useful asset to apply across the broader realm of drug discovery and development,” according to Magnus Jansson, chief scientific officer at Symcel. “This is especially the case in the context of the reversion back to using phenotype response based drug development—a growing trend which has arisen as a direct result of the failure to increase efficacy, increasing late-phase attrition rates and higher development costs that the industry now faces. Indeed, the measurement of cellular bio-energetics is a biophysical method firmly rooted in the phenotype, functional assay field.”
Significantly, bio-calorimetry technology enables the correct detection and treatment of bacterial colonization and biofilm formation in complex matrices through its capability to detect actual activity, the company says, adding that most molecular technologies are only able to detect presence, making it difficult to make accurate and reliable assessments in this crucial sphere.
Jannson added: “Measuring cellular bio-energetics is particularly accurate and effective because it takes into account all cellular events, enabling researchers and scientists to see the big picture. This is in stark contrast to most other technologies and approaches that are limited to drawing conclusions and making predictions based on either individual or combined measurements of individual factors.”
Calorimetry is a label-free, non-destructive assay tool, reportedly bringing multiple advantages to the R&D community. The technology is completely independent of the composition and morphology of the sample, thereby facilitating the transition from two-dimensional cell-based assays to three-dimensional cell cultures to tissue samples. This provides what Symcel calls “a vital link between different settings monitored by the same technology.” Furthermore, calorimetry is a real-time technology that makes it possible to follow the development of a cellular response over time.
Christer Wallin, CEO of Symcel, remarked: “The true monitoring of cellular bioenergetics—the metabolic state of the cell—provides new and much needed information that bridges the gaps in modern-day drug development and serves to bind individual factors together to create better predictive models that enhance performance in modern biological research. Our calorimetry technology has a number of unique features and is a highly advantageous tool for scientists to apply in drug discovery and development. It is designed for easy incorporation into the toolbox of the cell biology researcher.”

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