GSK joins AstraZeneca and Labcyte to develop acoustic mass spectrometry

GSK has joined forces with AstraZeneca and Labcyte to combine acoustic liquid dispensing technology with mass spectrometry (MS) for use in high throughput small molecule screening and other drug discovery applications.

Labcyte’s acoustic liquid dispensing uses the energy of sound waves to move minute quantities of liquid with exact precision.

The technology has been enhanced to create an MS-friendly mist of nano-droplets during acoustic mist ionization (AMI) process.

MS is currently used to quantify the amount of drug substance present in screening assays, drug metabolism studies, and safety and efficacy tests.

When used through AMI in high throughput applications, MS has the capability to decrease cost and reduce cycle time in early drug discovery.

With the collaboration of GSK, the three companies have established a consortium to bolster the development of acoustic-MS for high-throughput chemistry analysis, and biochemical and cell-based assays supporting a wide range of drug targets.

"We have made significant progress in collaboration with AstraZeneca over the past four years with great results."

Labcyte CEO Mark Fischer-Colbrie said: “We have made significant progress in collaboration with AstraZeneca over the past four years with great results.

“This new consortium will help validate new applications and optimise the acoustic-MS technology for both creating new workflows, as well as for fitting into existing drug discovery processes.”

AstraZeneca claims the acoustic liquid dispensing technology to be capable of conducting biochemical screening applications at rates of up to three samples per second.

AstraZeneca discovery sciences and innovative medicines AZ principal scientist Jonathan Wingfield said: “We have proven that Acoustic-MS technology works, and generates vastly reduced assay development times, improved cost savings and fewer false positives.”

Labcyte intends to launch a commercial Acoustic-MS system that would support a range of assays.