BioAscent’s customer is a virtual drug discovery organisation, with expert in-house project teams managing multiple external contract research organisations in a virtual research structure.
The customer was looking for a solution to enable it to select, purchase, aggregate, plate and ship a custom screening library of ~144,000 compounds to multiple screening labs across the globe.
The library needed to be formatted for long-term storage, as well as to provide screening plates in a number of pre-defined and custom layouts, all in a compound-efficient and flexible manner.
With a large virtual network, complex requirements and multiple screening partners across the globe, the customer was faced with a number of challenges:
- Timeframes were very short, and 144k compounds had to be sourced from 11 different suppliers within eight weeks (with delivery required before the end of the year).
- Communication and co-ordination with 14 organisations including the customer, BioAscent, and compound suppliers and aggregators.
- Multiple screening partners across the globe with different screening plate type, format and layout requirements, therefore complex workflows would need to be designed and implemented.
BioAscent’s Compound Management team worked with our customer to evaluate their requirements and designed a workflow which maximised usage of their library, preserving integrity and allowing for flexibility in plating requirements for multiple screening partners. Working together, BioAscent and aggregation partners were able to select and source compounds to ensure budgets were optimised, with suppliers identified on price, and availability of compounds in the required format. Where possible, samples were acquired in pre-weighed solid form (2µmole per tube), a format chosen to maximise budget and quality. Compounds were weighed by suppliers into consumables chosen by BioAscent, sent from the 11 suppliers to our aggregation partner for packaging, then sent on to BioAscent for aggregation and reformatting, with BioAscent handling logistics and customs clearance.
Compounds arrived at BioAscent as solid or dry film, except for 50,000 samples delivered in solution, and in a mixture of Matrix tubes and plates. BioAscent aggregated the compounds, registering details into our Mosaic database before dissolution in 100% DMSO.
Compounds were then stored in our automated Large Size Store (LSS) in individual Matrix tubes under controlled temperature (at -20°C +/-3°C) and humidity (mass 0.4g/kg water in air). The use of 2D Matrix tube storage technology facilitated automated rapid cherry picking of selected compounds, as well as reducing compound wastage, and ensuring the integrity and quality of the compounds.
Workflows and plate layouts were designed to maximise usage of the collection:
- Output format: the library is plated in a number of pre-defined and custom layouts, and shipped to screening partners to-order across the globe. Formats included 96-, 384- and 1536-well acoustic plates and 384- and 1536-well assay ready plates.
- Intelligent plating – the first 10 plates of the 144k full set were selected as a ‘smart set’ for those end-users who could not screen the full 144k collection.
- For selected screening partners, BioAscent used its Brooks 384-well microtube technology, to enable ultra-high throughput plate layout reconfiguration.
BioAscent’s expertise in logistics gives the customer peace of mind that the secure, rapid global shipping of compounds is in hand, and that any advice on customs and associated paperwork is readily available. In addition, the library was insured to its full value, giving the customer further peace of mind.
Impact and Benefits:
By working with BioAscent and our aggregation partner to source and manage the custom screening library, the customer was able to benefit in a number of ways:
- Expertise. Rapid design of optimal workflows and end-user plate layouts by BioAscent in collaboration with the customer and our partners.
- Speed. Rapid and cost-effective selection and sourcing of compounds via our compound aggregation partner, as well as rapid aggregation, processing and shipment by BioAscent to screening partners across the globe. 144k compounds purchased, aggregated and stored within 8 weeks.
- Visibility. All compounds registered and tracked with unique barcodes in BioAscent’s industry-standard Mosaic database at every stage of the process.
- Security. The BioAscent Automated Compound Store has three individually housed, environmentally controlled -20°C stored for compound solutions, and a dedicated Kardex powder store.
- Transparent, cost-effective pricing. Our compound aggregation partner charged supplier catalogue prices for compound and are able to recommend supplier strategies and negotiate bulk discounts on behalf of the customer. BioAscent offers a cost-effective ‘pay per activity’ service giving the customer access to our €20 million facility with no minimum term.
- Flexibility. BioAscent and our aggregation partner work with the customer to select, acquire, aggregate, store and plate for screening custom libraries of all sizes, from tens to hundreds-of-thousands of compounds.
- Responsive. The customer has a dedicated BioAscent account manager, and BioAscent offers seamless teamwork between BioAscent and our compound aggregation partners.
BioAscent acts as the central hub for the customer’s virtual R&D network, managing compound aggregation, secure storage, ordering, dissolution and plating, and shipping.
The result: a collaborative approach from BioAscent and our compound aggregation partners, which provides the customer with the complete end-to-end compound management service.
To find out more about BioAscent's compound management services, click here.