Cell-Based Drug Discovery


Cell-based assays serve as a key component in streamlining the drug development process. The use of cell-based assays in drug discovery is intended to accelerate the identification of potential therapeutic compounds that can continue towards regulatory approval and became drugs available on the market. Key attributes revealed by these methods include cytotoxicity, biological activity, and off-target interactions. These assays are extremely amenable to miniaturization and multiplexing, which allows assays to be conducted in a high-throughput manner and increasing amounts of compounds can be tested under different conditions simultaneously.


Early initiatives of SCB’s the cell-based drug discovery sector, led by Dr. Francesco Pasqualini and Dr. Gary Gintant, involve a call-to-action for the development of consistent reference guidelines to assess the phenotypic characteristics of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for use in drug discovery. Future studies, in collaboration with NIST, aim to incorporate previously generated and de novo data to understand the characteristics of the various available cell lines and subsequently call for the definition of benchmarks (in HiPSC cardiomyocytes) for use in drug discovery applications. Other needs that have been identified for project development include the definition of gene expression, maturity markers, and phenotype of cells used in drug discovery. Current and prospective studies are designed in concordance with the priorities of SCB charter members, which represent industry, academic, and regulatory interests.


Cell-Based Drug Discovery Chairs

Dr. Francesco Pasqualini, Harvard University

Dr. Gary Gintant, Abbott