Automation and High-Throughput Technologies
Beyond Small Molecules: Translational Biology Drives Automation Evolution
Tuesday, February 6
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Director, Leads Discovery & Optimization
Bristol Myers Squibb
Laboratory automation and liquid handler capabilities have evolved since the mid 1990’s to keep pace with the ever changing scientific landscape. Early application of automation was focused on small molecules and high-throughput screening. Since that time, demands from the scientific community have brought the development of newer technologies and enhanced requirements of automation and liquid handler capabilities. No longer does the “one size fits all” automation strategy work for early and late stage drug discovery. Demands to move towards high-throughput screening with biologics, millamolecules and antibody drug conjugates places new requirements on the automation capabilities. The need for more flexible, adaptable and dynamic automation with smaller footprints and enhanced capabilities has become the norm. Here we describe a transformational approach to evolve from in-house to commercial automation and enable multi-modality capabilities from Hits-to-Leads. Over the past 15 years, the marketplace has grown significantly and in-house solutions have become obsolete. The movement towards non-typical reagents such as, whole blood, primary cells and human matrices has driven our requirement to establish flexible automation. Furthermore, complex assay formats such as high content imaging, flow cytometry and kinetic readouts have pushed demands beyond traditional single mode biochemical and reporter based readouts. We have implemented a fit-for-purpose approach that provides high-fidelity integrated automation to drive HTS while providing connectivity with Lead Optimization through modular flexible systems. We have delivered a fleet based and standardized solution to drive usability, reduce footprint and minimize downtime. Additionally, we have connected bioassay processes with compound informatics to drive closed loop screening capability and deliver screening process efficiencies. This holistic approach has provided state-of-art capability to keep pace with the ever changing demands of the scientific and technology landscape.