Discovery BioMed prides itself on utilizing the latest technology platforms and offering services based on these advanced systems. In H1 2017 DBM invested in a BioTek Cytation 5 anchored automatic robotics system supported by BioTek’s BioSpa 8 and a BioTek plate washer. Together this system provides high-content automated fluorescence, luminescence, brightfield imaging and plate reading modalities.
After an initial period of set-up and optimization, DBM is now utilizing this platform for both its CRO services and R&D arms. One service that has proven popular with our large biopharma clients, leverages DBM’s expertise in renal biology and is a demonstration of the types of assays we offer is DBM’s in vitro 3D cyst formation assay. This is assay is directed towards clients and researchers with a principle interest in human renal diseases that exhibit cystogenesis as part of their pathology.
As with all research projects undertaken by DBM, we base the assay on human tissue platforms. This enables greater translatability of the results and a better likelihood of eventual clinical success. This assay in particular relies upon our ethically obtained human normal and autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease cell platforms. DBM is currently expanding its cryovial repository of these cells with mutations in either PKD1 or PKD2 available as platforms. These primary cells are seeded into Biogels where they form bone fide cysts in culture and can be exposed to therapeutic assets. Using our robotics line, cyst size can be tracked over several days or weeks. Images can be automatically captured daily and viability measured at the experiments conclusion.
It is important to note that this is just one example and DBM’s CRO arm remains focused on custom assay and platform development.