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Alliance of a lifetime
February 2013
by Amy Swinderman  |  Email the author
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CRAIGAVON, Northern Ireland—Two leaders in instrumentation, Almac and TTP Labtech, have joined forces to give researchers an innovative tool to perform screening applications without the bottleneck of false hits.  
 
This improved screening performance comes in the form of fluorescence lifetime technology (FLT), a reading modality that offers a robust, antibody-free, homogeneous assay platform that enables researchers to avoid interference from fluorescent compounds within a screening library. The offering combines Almac's FLEXYTE assay with TTP Labtech's Ameon system.  
 
Developed for peptide engineering and chemical synthesis and design, Almac's FLEXYTE assay platform offers solutions for many major therapeutic target classes, including kinases, proteases, phosphatases, DUB and an increasing number of epigenetic targets. The platform, which is still in development, harnesses the power and potential of FLT to provide an efficient and economical platform for screening and profiling.  
 
TTP Labtech touts its Ameon system as "the next generation of FLT reader technology." By offering real-time decay curve analysis, the Ameon system provides speed, precision and data quality for FLT assays that can be readily integrated into high-throughput screening workflows.  
 
The combined solution represents a potential game changer for any researcher performing screening applications, says Dr. Wayne Bowen, chief scientific officer of TTP Labtech, which is based in Cambridge, England.  
 
"There is some pain in the industry with some of the technologies we have now. People don't want to admit it, but until a new technology comes along, you are stuck there. I certainly see FLT being regarded as the best screening application compared to some of the existing technologies we have now," says Bowen.  
 
To overcome those hurdles and bring a better solution to the market, "this area of research needed two well-known industry players get into this market," says Bowen.
 
"One reason this technology has not yet come into fruition is that there has not been an offering that is strong in both a reader and reagents. This is paramount—you must have that," he says. "If people are going to reconfigure their screening applications to FLT, that is a big undertaking. You need credibility to adopt these types of technologies, a sense of security."  
 
Both companies tout the experience and market-leading position of the other. "Almac is a leader in FLT reagents, so we are very pleased to be hooking up with them. We like to work with the best," says Bowen.
 
TTP Labtech has an equally strong reputation for introducing novel technologies in the instrumentation market, says Dr. Robert Grundy, director of research alliances at Almac. "They are a trusted, recognized brand in the instrumentation world," Grundy says. "They are very easy to work with in the sense that they embrace new ideas and are very dogmatic in their approach to technology development. It is very important to Almac that we are complemented by a company that is well-known to people and trusted."  
 
Because neither company likes to second-guess the market, the combined offering is in beta testing and will be until summer.  
 
"We want to supply a product that people can use, and meet their specific demands," says Bowen. "We will test this at a few sites and get feedback before launching it later this year." The partners are targeting pharma companies with large-screening capabilities and interest, and service providers who are looking to provide screening services, says Grundy.  
 
"We believe this technology will enable them to get more out of their compound libraries, and do it for less and more quickly," he says.
 
Code: E021311

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