What’s black & white and HTS?

One of the challenges of screening drug candidates in vitro is that you can only read so much into the results arising from these assays

Randall C Willis
MONTREAL—One of the challenges of screening drug candidates in vitro is that you can only read so much into the results arising from these assays, because they rarely match the complexity found in in vivo systems. At the same time, most in vivo models are time- and resource-intensive. At the recent SBS conference, however, two groups presented their efforts to combine the benefits of in vitro assays with the stringency of an in vivo model; in particular, they chose zebrafish.
 
In one poster, researchers from Zygogen and Emory University described their efforts to screen potential anti-angiogenesis compounds, using fish that expressed green reef coral fluorescent protein (GRCFP) under a blood-vessel growth-specific control. Screening a 1280-member library, they identified three compounds that strongly inhibited blood vessel development.
 
Two of the compounds had previously been identified, but the other was novel. They then confirmed the anti-angiogenic activity of the novel compound with an in vitro human endothelial cell-based angiogenesis assay. They are continuing to characterize the novel compound.
 
In another poster, researchers from DanioLabs/VASTox plc and ASH Biotech Consulting used a multidimensional high-content imaging platform to study the impact of drugs on cardiac and locomotor activity. The goal is to determine potentially problematic side effects of new drugs earlier in the discovery phase. They tested their platform against a series of known drugs and saw that they could clearly detect expected in vivo changes resulting from drug treatment.

Randall C Willis

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