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Cell-Based Assays: Innovations in Reagents, Technologies & Screening October 23 – 24, 2008

Cell-based assays provide one of the most valuable tools in drug discovery.  They are routinely used in target validation, HTS campaigns, structure activity relationship analyses and ADMET studies. Many factors need to be considered in designing, developing and running relevant cell based assays to progress discovery programs.  Significant advances continue to be made in assay design and cell supply processes that incorporate biologically relevant cell types and novel detection technologies. This symposium is designed to capture successful techniques and practices that enable high quality cell-based assays using commonly employed cell types such as CHO, HEK and U-2 OS, as well as the expanding application of additional cell types. The symposium will be of great interest to cell culture scientists, assay developers, screeners, medicinal chemists, ADMET and therapeutic teams.

Session Overviews:

Session 1: Cells as Reagents – Fact or Fiction?
This session will cover various aspects of the most important material used in cell-based assays: the cells. The talks will address the topics such as: how to characterize cell lines to ensure their identity? What are the impacts to the cells after transfection? What are the issues during scale up process? This session will also highlight advances in cell culture automation and material tracking system for cell-based assays.

Session 2: Assay Development – Present Realities
Topics covered include the application of BacMam virus based gene delivery in assay development, the development of high-content cellular assays, dielectric spectroscopy technology and photoprotein aqueorin based GPCR assay platforms and considerations in screening for antibody based therapeutics.

Session 3: Cell-Based Screening – The How, Why & Where
This session will include topics on the implementation of cell-based assays and screens across the discovery process focusing on the challenges, solutions and issues to consider. Presentations include experiences with high throughput screening for lead identification, profiling with cellular panels, ADME applications, and the use of high content screening in both drug discovery and to probe complex cellular systems.

Session 4: Cell-Based Assays – Emerging Trends
The topics in this session will address emerging trends in supply of cells that attempts to bridge the gap between traditional target based in vitro assays and in vivo measurements. The presentations will highlight potential applications of cells to build model systems that can offer the combined benefits of traditional in vitro and ex vivo approaches. These emerging technologies and methodologies hold the promise of addressing a major gap in using target based approaches to discover new biological tools and drugs and will challenge the supply of cell reagents.

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