October 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 17)
Interaction Is Everything—From Biology to Partnering and Servicing Drug Research
Cisbio Bioassays is a global company with over 35 years’ experience in immunoassay design. The firm originally produced in vitro diagnostics assay kits but entered the drug discovery market in the mid 1990s, with the development of its proprietary HTRF (Homogeneous Time Resolved Fluorescence) assay. This technology pioneered the use of time-resolved fluorescence for drug screening and with over 600 assays and reagents available is today the leading assay platform in high-throughput screening.
The company operates internationally via commercial and service teams in France, the U.S., China and Japan, as well as a network of expert distributors. Cisbio’s motto “Interaction is everything” encapsulates how the firm works with partners and customers to provide assays that enable understanding of molecular interactions and its scientific consultants also support customers’ projects with daily interactions for assay implementation and training.
Cisbio’s HTRF assay platform initially targeted high-throughput screening for drug discovery applications and is utilized by pharma and biotech companies, as well as contract research organizations. The platform has been widely adopted because it is a cost-effective, robust and truly homogeneous no-wash assay that is marginally affected by compound interference. It is also robot friendly and easy to miniaturize, which means HTRF matches all the critical criteria for high-throughput drug screening.
Over time, Cisbio’s offering has extended beyond target-based screening, for example the company has developed a large number of cell-signaling assays that provide functional and phenotypic screening approaches. HTRF has progressively been applied to a broad variety of assay formats used in basic research, because of its flexibility for cell-based detection.
Through services teams worldwide, the firm also develops bespoke new assays for scientists’ targets of interest, and recommends the best strategy to work with complex cellular models are more biologically relevant.
Cisbio is continuously innovating with its assay portfolio and has also collaborated with equipment manufacturers for over 10 years to create HTRF validated plate readers, enabling its customers to access laboratory instrumentation designed for optimum performance with HTRF-based assays.
New assays that don’t require washing steps are being developed specifically in CNS research for Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease biomarkers, including Tau, LRRK2, or α-synuclein.
Diabetes is another area that the firm is targeting, with a number of assays enabling receptor and cell-signaling pathway investigation, as well as biomarker detection. Cisbio has recently introduced several insulin assays that enable researchers to use less of their precious samples, such as mouse serum, and are quicker and easier to set-up and run than many existing assays.
GPCR investigation remains one of Cisbio’s primary focuses, as it applies to most pathologies, and it is the only company to provide such a complete approach with a single cell-based technology, from receptor binding to downstream functional readouts, particularly appropriate for applications such as biased signaling investigation. The portfolio includes IP-One, a patented assay for Gq receptor activation, that has been shown to provide a superior, more reliable output compared to calcium sensing.
With the drug discovery landscape evolving, there is an increasing demand for collaborative development of assays addressing new targets. Not only does Cisbio act proactively by identifying those needs, but through its laboratories and scientific expertize worldwide, the firm optimizes a growing number of assay tools and provides them in a very rapid turnaround time. Sourcing the right material and developing ready-to-use assays is Cisbio’s core expertise.
Cisbio will capitalize on these capabilities to strengthen its position outside the pure drug screening space, extending into life sciences where the firm is confident it will continue to improve its customers’ experience.