Drug Discovery Partnership Director Eurofins Discovery, France
Label-free and high-throughput screening approaches, especially those involving Mass Spectrometry (MS) technologies, are some of the most powerful screening tools used in drug discovery, and more specifically in hit finding. The Echo® MS (Sciex), the latest innovation in HTMS technology, addresses the inherent limitations of traditional MS (ESI) technology, building on the progress made by the RapidFire® MS (Agilent).
The RapidFire MS, developed 10 years ago, provided significant improvement in the automation and the throughput for MS analysis. With an automatic injection of one sample every 10-15 seconds, the RapidFire MS has an automatized and standardized cleaning system of the sample prior to the MS analysis. The innovative technology of the Echo MS, which combines acoustic ejection with MS, brings MS HTS to a whole new level. With one injection every second, the Echo MS does not require sample cleaning prior to the MS analysis, and is compatible with 384- and 1536-well plates.
Our team of MS experts HTS and robotic engineers first worked on integrating the Echo MS with a HighRes compact platform to reach the throughput of 5 minutes per plate and 24/24 runs. In order to run HTS on the Echo MS, a full understanding and evaluation of the system was extremely important. We therefore learned how to drive the system and we built a comprehensive database of over 15 compounds and peptides, with diverse chemical properties. We worked on defining for each compound the optimal ejection conditions, detection in complex matrix, limit of quantification and linearity in order to accelerate assay development and the implementation of future HTS projects. As a proof of concept, we performed an HTS on the COMT enzyme, screening 50k compound library in 3 days, showing robust assay (Z’ 0.80 ± 0.04 and SNR 36.4 ± 8.2) and interesting hits.
With its integration, the Echo MS is an exciting addition to our MS and HTS offer, and is supported by our internal capabilities in producing high quality proteins, our valuable compound library, as well as our extensive experience in complex project management