Laboratory Robotics Interest Group February Meeting

Andy Zaayenga andy.zaayenga at bigfoot.com
Fri Feb 20 01:43:54 EST 1998

Please note: additional presentations, expanded 
vendor exhibition, adjusted meeting times

The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group 
February 1998 Meeting

Drug Discovery

Date: Wednesday, February 25, 1998
Place: Somerset Marriot Hotel
110 Davidson Avenue, Somerset, NJ 08873
Phone: 732-560-0500    Fax: 732-560-3669
Hors d'oeuvre & Vendor Exhibition, 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Presentations, 6:30 to 9:00 pm
Pre-Registration: not required
Agenda:  This meeting will address the topics of Combinatorial
Chemistry, Compound Distribution and Ultra High Throughput 
Screening.  During the Social Period which will feature 
hors d'oeuvre and a cash bar, there will be a Vendor's 
Exhibition.  Following will be four presentations,
with question and answer periods.  Members interested in
presenting a poster during the Social Period are encouraged to
do so.  Open career positions at your company may be announced
or posted.  There is no fee to attend the meeting.
Presentation: Massively Parallel, Microfabricated Systems for
High-Throughput Drug Discovery
Sheila H. DeWitt
Orchid Biocomputer
201 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08543-2197

A microfluidic, chip-based system for the integration of
high-throughput drug discovery efforts has been developed and
demonstrated as a collaborative effort between SmithKline
Beecham and Orchid Biocomputer. The applications include all
areas of preclinical drug discovery including combinatorial
chemistry, ultra high-throughput screening, genomics, drug
metabolism, and toxicology. The microfluidic chip incorporates
microfabricated components for valving and pumping of fluids,
within a three-dimensional fluidic network. The pumping and
valving mechanisms have no moving parts, making large scale
integration feasible and inherently reliable. Key aspects of the
highly integrated electrokinetic transport of fluids, and
representative examples including the transport of organic
solvents and reagents will be presented.
Presentation: UHTS: The New Challenge of the Sample Dispensary
Eric W. Kaldy
The Automation Partnership
9 Blueberry Hill Reserve, Killingworth, CT 06419

In the past few years there has been an explosion of new
chemical entity generation and biological target identification.
This push coupled with the pull of the business need to fill the
product pipeline faster has created a new technology, Ultra High
Throughput Screening (UHTS). The realization of UHTS throughputs
100,000 or more assays per day places new demands on the
compound dispensary. How do you store & retrieve, prepare, and
dispatch libraries of 50,000 - 2,000,000 compounds 
for UHTS, HTS, and therapeutic biology assay testing while
maintaining sample and data integrity? How do you achieve both
high throughput and flexibility? This talk identifies the
critical issues associated with dispensary management and
automation logistics.
Presentation: MOBA: An Ultra-High Throughput Screening Platform 
For Lead Generation, Characterization, and Optimization
Frank H. Michaels, Ph.D.
Research Director, The Biotechnology Laboratories at 
Thomas Jefferson University
Director of Research, GEM Array Biosciences.

A cell based, ultra-high throughput screening platform 
technology capable of operating in a completely automated 
micro-miniaturized environment is being developed. This 
technology employs Genetically Engineered Microorganisms 
(GEMs) designed to detect biochemical interactions of 
pharmacological importance. Because the screening system 
employs whole viable cells, toxic compounds are detected 
and deleted from future development. Additionally, because 
intracellular availability of lead compounds is required for 
assay activity, poorly absorbed compounds are identified. 
Assay cycle times are less than 2 hours, and micro- to 
nanomolar ED50s can be detected. New assay development 
commonly requires less than 8 weeks, and subsequent lead 
optimization entails significantly less time. This novel 
technology can detect protein-protein, RNA-protein and 
DNA-protein interactions allowing the generation of arrays 
of microminiaturized assays to define medically important 
candidates from combinatorial libraries or assemblies of 
crude extracts for lead identification and optimization.
Presentation: HTS-Factory ® : An Industrial Approach to 
High Throughput Screening
Ernst Burgisser
Discovery Technologies, Inc.

The enormous demand for rapid and cost-effective performance 
of high throughput screening (HTS) is calling for novel 
concepts in automation and logistics. Discovery Technologies 
Ltd., a newly founded service and technology company, 
provides custom-oriented HTS and follow-up services. An 
HTS-Factory® has been designed to process up to 100,000 
tests (which is equivalent to 1,200 96-well microplates) 
within one working day. Higher density formats can be 
implemented, as long as they fit the standard microplate 
footprint, yielding a multiplication of throughput. In 
contrast to well-established laboratory automation solutions, 
the HTS-Factory concept is based on industrial handling 
technology , which has proven to be very reliable, fast and 
cost-effective for more than two decades. 

The key elements of the HTS-Factory are: 1.) fully automated 
storage and retrieval system for chemical libraries, 
pre-plated in 96-well microplates and kept under dry and 
inert atmosphere; 2.) all the microplate handling is done 
in stacks of ten plates; 3.) a newly designed plate stacker 
is capable of presenting all plates within less than a minute 
to liquid handlers, incubators, and readers; 4.) several 
96-channel pipetters are working simultaneously; 5.) the 
plates stacks are transported on a fast conveyor system with 
individual shuttles; 6.) all plates are bar-coded, allowing 
perfect tracking and quality assurance. Further to the high 
throughput mode, the system prepares assay plates for upcoming 
HTS projects, compound mixture plates ("matrix cocktail"), 
plates for verification assays as well as preparation of 
microplates for EC-50 determination in a fully automated 
and unattended 24-hour mode. 
Exhibiting Vendors:
Argonaut Technologies
Beckman Instruments Inc.
Bohdan Automation
Corning Inc.
CRS Robotics Corporation
Cutting Edge Scientific
EG&G Wallac Inc.
Fisher Scientific
Greiner America
Hewlett Packard
LJL Biosystems
Matrix Technologies Corp.
Nalge Nunc International
Perkin-Elmer Tropix
PerSeptive Biosystems
Quark Enterprises Inc.
Robbins Scientific
Society for Biomolecular Screening
The Automation Partnership
TiterTek / LabRepCo
TomTec Inc.
For more information contact:

Dennis France 
dennis.france at pharma.novartis.com
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Vice Chairman:
Ed Kanczewski 
kanczee at aa.wl.com

Andy Zaayenga 
andy.zaayenga at tekcel.com
TekCel Corporation

William Haller 
bhaller at ompus.jnj.com
Agricultural Applications Chair:
Sharon Reed 
reeds at pt.cyanamid.com
American Cyanamid

High Throughput Screening Chair:
John Babiak 
babiakj at war.wyeth.com
Wyeth-Ayerst Research

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