Published: 11 April 2024

BioAscent has made a significant investment in an xCELLigence cell analysis system. This strategic move further strengthens our capabilities in drug discovery and development. In particular, the xCELLigence provides an excellent label-free platform for studying and screening G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are a target class in which BioAscent has long and successful expertise and experience, supporting multiple leading biotech companies with their GPCR drug discovery programs.

xCELLigence is a microelectronic biosensor system that measures cellular impedance, which can change in response to the activation of diverse array of cellular pathways. It has been designed for label-free cell-based assays in a wide array of cell types, from standard cell lines to primary cultures. It offers dynamic, real-time, and label-free cellular analysis, across a wide range of research applications with a very limited propensity for compound interference, and a particular strength in analysing responses to GPCR pathway activation.

In addition to its excellent utility in GPCR research, xCELLigence strengthens BioAscent’s capabilities across a diversity of research areas, like immuno-oncology, cytotoxicity or cell migration and invasion. The xCELLigence system can measure 6x 96-well plates in a single experiment, allowing for efficient screening of libraries of compounds, accelerating the pace of our research and enabling rapid identification of promising drug candidates.

Stuart McElroy, Director of Biosciences at BioAscent, commented: ‘We have a great deal of positive experience using label-free technologies for cell-based research, having used Dynamic Mass Redistribution in the group for more than 10 years, otherwise known as Corning Epic. Unfortunately, that system was discontinued and is no longer supported so the acquisition of xCELLigence provides an excellent replacement to continue conducting real-time cellular assays, without the need for reporter genes or labels. Our experience of technique is that it is excellent for characterising the molecular pharmacology and pathway coupling across a wide array of GPCR targets. We’ve already seen great success using it as both a primary discovery tool to identify novel ligands and as an orthogonal platform for validating and characterising hits we’ve discovered using more traditional label-based assays that measure downstream signalling such as cAMP, IPone, β-Arrestin, or Ca2+ release.’

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