Phenotypic Screening now offered by the European Lead Factory

16 March 2020

Phenotypic Screening is a powerful target-agnostic approach to identifying new chemical starting points for drug discovery. Furthermore, it offers the potential to uncover new targets and pathways underpinning disease-related biology.

The European Lead Factory is excited to announce that it can now offer two types of phenotypic screening:

  1. A high-throughput, but “lower content” phenotypic approach that is suited to screening ELF’s entire compound collection, and
  2. A more complex “high content” screening approach using microscopy or flow cytometry to probe phenotype on a smaller subset of the compound collection

While low content assays can be live measurements or have fixed end points and involve well-averaged readouts, high content assays can be much more complex, based on live or fixed cells, multiple cell types and usually have more than one parameter as a readout. The complexity of the latter workflow makes it better suited to being performed on a smaller representative subset of the large collection.

Both approaches will also be screened using a so-called annotated set of drugs and chemical probes, for which targets and varying degrees of mechanism of action are known. The low content phenotypic assays will be screened in the Pivot Park Screening Centre in the Netherlands, and the high content assays will be screened at the National Phenotypic Screening Centre in Scotland.

Proposals for phenotypic screening approaches follow the normal review and selection process. A dedicated application form is available here.

Further reading:

Horvath P, Aulner N, Bickle M, et al. Screening out irrelevant cell-based models of disease. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016;15(11):751–769. doi:10.1038/nrd.2016.175