Scripps Research Institute scientists have designed and licensed a major new technology that dramatically improves the quality control and management of compounds used for high-throughput screening, a process that can be used to search for potential new drugs.

The Plate AuditorTM was designed by Peter Hodder, senior scientific director, and his laboratory staff, Louis Scampavia and Pierre Baillargeon. It combines advanced spectroscopy and image analysis techniques to perform rapid, automated, and nondestructive quality assessment of compounds in high-throughput screening collections. It also monitors the quality of all samples through their lifecycle, a practice not currently possible with existing technologies.

“This is the first instrument of its kind and first in its class,” Hodder said.  “As a detection platform, it provides a wealth of information about a compound sample that you simply couldn’t get from one instrument.”

Hodder hopes the new technology gets people thinking about Scripps Florida in a brand new way. “We want people to know that in addition to discovering therapeutic molecules, we can also design and build novel instrumentation for screening operations,” said Hodder, who founded and has directed the high-throughput screening laboratory at Scripps Florida since 2005.

Scripps Research uses the instrument routinely for quality control of more than 1 million compounds in its drug-discovery screening operation. The technology, which consists of an automated instrumentation platform called the Plate AuditorTM, has been licensed for manufacture and sale to the Brooks Life Science Systems division of Brooks Automation, a leading worldwide provider of automation, vacuum, and instrumentation solutions for multiple markets including semiconductor manufacturing, life sciences, and clean energy.

John Lillig, senior vice president and managing director of Brooks Life Science Systems, commented, “As the leader in providing automated compound and biological sample management systems to pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world, Brooks is very excited to be working together with the Scripps Research Institute’s Compound Management Group on the development and the commercialization of this innovative and very useful Compound/HTS Quality Assurance technology. With over 350 million samples stored in Brooks Sample Management Systems around the world, the new Scripps Research/Brooks Plate AuditorTM will be a very nice complement to our Brooks Tube AuditorTM product offering and a valuable new quality enhancement tool for our many Compound Management colleagues around the world.”

The new instrument will debut at the First Annual Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) in February in San Diego, CA.  Hodder himself will be presenting the new HIAPI-CM at a European Lab Automation Conference this May.

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