Welcome to Aurora, a New Era of Sensitivity
The Bioanalytical Services Division (BASD) at FARMOVS comprises of a group of skilled and passionate scientists involved in the quantification of drugs, metabolites and biomarkers in various biological matrices. One of their Analytical Science experts, Fletcher Hiten, explains what sets their team apart from the rest.
“Over the past 47 years, we have developed almost 600 validated assay methods. Most of these methods are for the analysis of ‘small’ molecules using chromatographic techniques like LC-MS/MS, GC-MS and HPLC, although LC-MS/MS is the technique of choice. New bioanalytical assays are continuously being development and validated in adherence to international regulatory guidelines set by the US-FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA)” says Hiten.
“Recently, we decided to enhance our capabilities by recruiting exceptional talent. The newest member of the FARMOVS team is Aurora, a SCIEX Triple Quad™ 7500 LC-MS/MS mass analyzer. Aurora is Latin for ‘dawn’: The beginning of a new era, especially one considered favourable. The SCIEX 7500 is currently marketed as the most sensitive triple quadrupole mass spectrometer available, allowing for sub-picogram/ml quantification. This means that Aurora will set FARMOVS apart from other clinical research organisations (CROs), creating an exciting and favourable landscape for clients to explore new partners in research”.
Hiten stated that “if there was ever a time to move your next study to FARMOVS, it is now. To have Aurora on our team has many advantages, given that our clients can access unprecedented analytical sensitivity, which enables the quantification of pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles of drugs that have very low systemic absorption. These include predominantly local acting drugs such as plasma concentrations of respiratory drugs (e.g. tiotropium and Ipratropium), topically applied creams and ointments and ophthalmology drops with ultra-sensitivity”.
“In addition, the quantification of drugs in low volume matrices will also be exponentially enhanced, enabling the quantification in body fluids, where only a few microliters can be collected, for example vaginal fluid, dried blood spots, cerebrospinal fluid, aqueous humor, synovial fluid and epidermal micro dialysis lysate to name a few. The quantification of absorbed exogenous drugs into tissue, like vaginal biopsies and hair follicles is also possible”.
“And finally, multiple analyte analysis. In this case, the collected blood sample needs to be split into multiple aliquots for analysis, for example Drug-Drug Interaction (DDI) studies with the Basel cocktail. The smaller sample volumes will allow more frequent sampling to be feasible and thus more accurate DDI interpretation”, Hiten explains.
“As a Bio-analyst, one is hardly surprised. However, Aurora has already opened doors to new frontiers for our entire team and we cannot wait to do some more exploration”, says Hiten.