BioAscent offers our customers straightforward and cost-effective access to the big-pharma calibre compound management capabilities and expertise at our €20 million facility. We manage libraries of all sizes, ranging from tens to hundreds-of-thousands of compounds, for customers of all sizes, ranging from the smallest virtual biotech through to big pharma. But our customers all have this in common – they choose BioAscent to cost-effectively and securely manage their compounds and accelerate their design-make-test cycles – something that is especially critical for innovative biotechs working with a network of CROs.
BioAscent’s customer is a semi-virtual biotech, running a number of drug discovery programs at all stages from assay development through to clinical studies. In-house project teams work with both a small internal laboratory team, and with multiple CRO partners on each project, working to tight deadlines.
Compounds are sourced from multiple partners, including catalogue compounds direct from suppliers and aggregators; and custom chemistry from both an internal team, and from UK and Asian chemistry CROs.
To complicate matters further, the typical project works with multiple CRO and academic testing partners across the globe – for in vitro screening, in vitro DMPK, and in vivo pharmacology.
Across its programs, the company has built up a compound library of a few thousand compounds over several projects, stored across multiple CRO partners.
With multiple providers and partners, the customer faced a number of issues with its compound management processes:
- Lack of visibility – no centralised compound inventory or consistent labelling system, instead multiple paper and excel-based inventories, making it difficult to understand compound availability and identify appropriate compounds for testing.
- Lack of security – compounds held in domestic freezers or room temperature cabinets at multiple CRO partner sites.
- Lack of speed – bottlenecks in identifying, ordering, preparing and shipping compounds to testing partners.
- Lack of consistency and quality – no consistent or auditable system for retrieving compounds, dissolution and plating, or analytical quality control, leading to persistent uncertainty (“did we test the right compounds?”) when unexpected test results obtained.
- All leading to significant unnecessary costs, and avoidable delays in drug discovery design-make-test cycles
Working with our customer, BioAscent’s Compound Management team designed a cost-effective workflow to accelerate its drug discovery programs.
New compounds are received weekly (in solid form) from chemistry CRO partners. On occasion, larger ad-hoc orders are received from compound suppliers.
Upon receipt, all incoming compounds are barcoded and registered in our Mosaic database. Solid samples are stored in our secure Kardex solid store, DMSO solutions are stored at -20oC in our Brooks automated Large Size Store (LSS).
To allow for rapid and flexible plating, selected samples are weighed and dissolved in DMSO. These are then stored in individual 2D Matrix Tubes in our automated Large Size Store (LSS) 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 reduces wastage of compounds and ensures the integrity and quality of the compounds when plated for testing.
When plated compounds are required for testing, tubes are picked using the store’s rapid robotic cherry-picking capability and plated in the required labware and layout using our advanced liquid handling capabilities. This includes the preparation of Assay Ready Plates using acoustic dispensers. When only a few compounds are needed, solid stock can be weighed and shipped in vials.
To allow full control and visibility of compound inventory and related activities, BioAscent enables secure online access to collection details via a custom web application. With this tool, customers can:
- Search an up-to-date inventory of solid and liquid samples
- Access analytical data for compounds QC’d (by mass spec or NMR) at BioAscent
- Order the required compounds, using pre-defined workflows, formats and plate layouts
- Ship compounds to testing partners worldwide, either as solids, DMSO solutions in plates or tubes, or assay ready plates
- Track historical and pending orders and shipments
Access is strictly via secure, approved login; levels of user access can be defined (e.g. viewing rights, deposit rights, ordering rights).
Finally, BioAscent’s expertise in global shipping gives the customer peace of mind that compounds are transported securely and rapidly, with the team able to give advice on customs paperwork and other logistics matters.
To find out more about BioAscent's compound management services, click here.