Use of Drosophila Embryos for Delivery and High-throughput Screening of Chemical Compounds
Present-day drug discovery frequently involves screening hundreds of thousands of compounds for biological activity against a target molecule. Compound screening is typically preformed using cell-based systems because they promise accurate, whole-cell data representative of the physiological condition. However, compounds that pass this initial screening often fail in future toxicological testing. Pharmaceutical companies want the closest possible model to the human organism while still retaining the ability to look at several thousand samples quickly and efficiently. Flies have been shown to respond to drugs in the same dose ranges as humans making them a perfect model system for screening of new drugs for toxicity. In addition, the introduction of human amyloidgenic peptides into the fly has been observed to produce reliable models of human neurodegerative diseases, such as Parkinson�s and Alzheimer�s, eliminating the need to prescreen drugs in a cell-based system. Dr. Schmid has capitalized on this phenomenon and has developed a method for whole animal high throughput drug screening using Drosophila embryos and 96 well plate readers.
For most biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations, high-throughput screening represents the beginning of the drug development pipeline. Improvements in this early stage are extremely cost-effective, since they eliminate time and money wasted on poor leads. Thus, utilizing the appropriate assay to efficiently identify hits, and especially identification of high-quality hits, is crucial to drug development economy. The European cell-based assays market is worth $143 million.
Stage of Development
PCT application number WO 2005/112978 has been filed for this technology.
The technology is part of an active and ongoing research program and has been demonstrated to work in proof-of-concept experiments which have been validated in animal experiments. It is available for developmental research support and licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.
Aloisia (Alice) Schmid
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