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Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on growing use of cell-based assays

New Rochelle, NY, April 16, 2008Biotech and pharma companies are increasingly relying on cell-based assays in early drug discovery work, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). The technique can provide a quick and lower cost means of testing drug candidates for toxic effects, according to an article in the April 15 issue of GEN (

Better screening technologies, noninvasive monitoring, and more automation are driving the trend toward adoption of this technology, notes John Sterling, Editor-in-Chief of GEN. Some estimates project that the market for cell-based assays will more than double over the next six or seven years to over $230 million. This is definitely a methodology that should draw the interest of new drug developers.

More than 50% of currently marketed drugs target GPCRs, which impact a wide range of cellular processes. Multispan is looking to exploit this area and is collaborating with Promega and Molecular Devices to develop an array of applications for its GPCR cell-based assays.

Another field of much R&D interest involves protein-protein interactions. DiscoveRx created a new family of cell-based assays for the detection of protein-protein interactions using an enzyme fragment complementation assay. This system uses an enzyme acceptor, an inactive alpha-galactosidase enzyme that binds to its enzyme donor forming an active enzyme that will hydrolyze a substrate and provide a signal.


Contact: Vicki Cohn
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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