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Molecular Devices snaps up Genetix
August 2011
by Lloyd Dunlap  |  Email the author
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SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Molecular Devices, a provider of instruments, software and consumables for drug discovery and life sciences research, has announced that the drug discovery division of Genetix will join Molecular Devices.
 
Acknowledging that research in pharma and biotech is shifting toward biotherapeutic drugs (antibodies, proteins and vaccines), Molecular Devices picked up two key products from Genetix, the ClonePix and QPix instrument platforms, which address cell lines used in biotherapeutic research. Today's bottleneck in the race to new discoveries in life science research is cell-based analysis, the company states on its website. Drug discovery research is hampered by the extended time and expense required to culture sufficient cells prior to analysis. There is a lack of ready access to cellular analysis systems, creating a delay in receiving reliable results and analyses from outsourced testing. 
 
To counter this situation, Molecular Devices can now offer ClonePix, an automated mammalian cell selection platform that significantly expedites the process of identifying and selecting cells that produce biotherapeutic candidates, reducing both time and cost. Systems based on ClonePix technology are now used in more than 100 laboratories around the world to increase workflow productivity, leaving more time to better characterize target proteins and run new projects.
 
According to Molecular Devices, companies such as GSK, Merck, Wyeth, Genentech, Centocor, MedImmune, UCB and Genmab have implemented ClonePix systems, and data are cited increasingly in scientific conferences. Automatically screening more clones in less time than conventional techniques, selecting cells with optimal expression levels and picking colonies with accuracy enables scientists to increase the probability of finding optimal producers, cut cell line/antibody development times, avoid limiting dilution and reject poor performers at an early stage based on expression levels in situ.
 
The second key product—QPix colony pickers—is used worldwide in over 600 installations in research institutes, sequencing facilities, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, the company states, adding that its reputation for reliability and accuracy was established during the Human Genome Project, in which six out of seven major sequencing centers standardized on QPix colony pickers.
 
In addition, the CloneSelect Imager and CellReporter from Genetix will extend Molecular Devices' imaging portfolio. These products offer a good value for a budget-conscious end user, the news release announcing the acquisition stated. With high-quality imaging and intelligent image analysis, CloneSelect Imager replaces time-consuming, subjective manual inspections with consistency and objectivity. Cell growth is viewed and tracked in every well in every plate.
 
The CellReporter system produces accurate, quantitative data for a wide range of applications utilizing fluorescent cell- and bead-based assays. Intuitive workflows provide full flexibility to optimize and standardize assays from the first image acquisition step through to data analysis and reporting. Typical applications include bead-based assays for hybridoma screening, quantifying antibody production and secretion of cytokines or hormones and cell-based assays for cell cycle analysis, cytotoxicity studies or monitoring protein translocation.
 
Commenting on the acquisition, Mark Verheyden, president of Molecular Devices, says, "We are excited about welcoming Genetix into the Molecular Devices team, knowing that the combined business will be better positioned to serve our customers. Our instruments offer a full spectrum of detection technologies and meet all throughput needs—from dedicated, single-readout devices to multi-readout systems. Our goal is to deliver highly relevant analytical products to detect biology, decode data and drive discovery."
 
Code: E081109

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