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ChanTest Announces ChansPorter™ Assays to Accelerate Drug Development

Published: Monday, July 22, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, July 22, 2013
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ChansPorter™ Assays provide the best means possible for measuring the functional activity of important pharmaceutical targets, including the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR).

The new ChansPorter™ Assays provide faster and more accurate answers. Using human (patient-derived) bronchial epithelia, and incorporating higher throughput into the discovery screening and profiling processes increases productivity several fold by eliminating false positives and negatives arising from animal cell lines. Time-to-results also is shortened significantly, saving time and cost.

In a Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patient, the CF gene tells the individual’s epithelial cells to produce a defective version of the CFTR protein, which causes the mucus that lines the lungs (and other organs) to become thickened and sticky. Impaired epithelial transport function results in chronic disease that reduces quality of life and life expectancy.

In the process of drug discovery, a better understanding of the function of a target protein like CFTR in disease leads to the development of better drug candidates.

When considering epithelial diseases like CF, functional assays for measuring drug effects on the activity of electrogenic transporters (that mediate fluid transport or flow) play an important role.

The Ussing Chamber Assay (UCA) is an established electrophysiological assay that uses epithelial voltage clamp technology to evaluate electrogenic transporter activity and measure net fluid transport, electrolyte, nutrient and drug transport across epithelial tissues.

The UCA has been used to measure ex vivo (tissue) transport activity in essentially all epithelia. Cultured epithelial cells (primary and cell lines) capable of forming polarized epithelia (epithelia which allow the tissue to secrete or absorb fluid) are used extensively in in vitro UCAs for functional evaluations in drug discovery, physiology and toxicology.

“We have a highly-skilled team of cell biologists and electrophysiologists at ChanTest working on the Ussing Assay for drug discovery clients,” said Dr. Antonio Lacerda, Director of Contract Research & Development Services at ChanTest.

Dr. Lacerda continued, “Now, building on this technology, with ChansPorter Assays, I believe that we have the highest throughput in the industry, and a strong, high-quality capability for measuring important epithelial targets, such as CFTR.”

ChanTest regularly performs high-quality experiments on an unprecedented scale.

ChansPorter Assays include three independent 24-chamber Ussing systems dedicated to CF, R&D and contract research testing with the capacity to simultaneously test 72 epithelia grown on SnapWell™ filter inserts.

A fourth 24-chamber system is used for cGMP compliant release assays.

ChanTest employs a higher throughput embodiment of the UCA with a semi-automated system that utilizes a robot, a 24-channel epithelial voltage clamp (TECC-24) and 24-well microplates containing CFhBE (Cystic Fibrosis human Bronchial Epithelia) grown on permeable support for up to five times the throughput of the 24-chamber systems.

The epithelia are derived from cultures of patient primary cells or cell lines (of both human and animal origin).

There is an urgent need to accelerate the identification of new solutions in drug discovery for cystic fibrosis patients.

ChansPorter™ Assays provide the industry with a way to more quickly and accurately assess the best drug candidates by measuring the functional activity of important pharmaceutical targets, including CFTR.

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