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Automating Lab Screening for COVID-19 Drug Therapy Candidates

Automating Lab Screening for COVID-19 Drug Therapy Candidates

Automating Lab Screening for COVID-19 Drug Therapy Candidates

Automating Lab Screening for COVID-19 Drug Therapy Candidates

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Biosero has designed and implemented an automated lab workflow for Scripps Research Institute so researchers can accelerate the screening of COVID-19 drug therapy candidates. The research team is using a custom automation platform operated by Green Button Go™ Automation Scheduling and Data Integration Software to screen 14,000 compounds that have already been approved by the FDA for therapeutic potential against COVID-19.

“The world is in a race to save lives,” said Biosero CEO Tom Gilman. “I expect that pairing the expertise of Scripps Institute researchers with Biosero’s state-of-the-art lab automation will double the speed at which Scripps scientists can process drug therapy candidates.”

Dr. Thomas Rogers, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and Dr. Dennis Burton, Co-Chair Department of Immunology and Microbiology, at Scripps Research Institute, are leading research to optimize screening assays that test the inhibition of active SARS-CoV-2 virus infection by known compounds. To do so, Calibr, the drug development division of Scripps Research, is leveraging ReFRAME, a drug repurposing collection. ReFRAME contains 14,000 compounds approved by the FDA for other diseases or that have already been extensively tested for human safety.

“The SARS-CoV-2 pathogen is very difficult to work within the lab, compared to HIV, ZIKA and the flu. To address the COVID pathogen, researchers need high throughput systems to process numerous 384-well plates quickly,” said Dr. Rogers. “We were in desperate straits to scale up a Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) lab and quickly run the cell infection assays. Automating our workcell with automation scheduling and data analysis software enabled us to rapidly shift our lab resources and expertise to focus on the desperate need for COVID-19 preventives and therapeutics.”

Green Button Go software from Biosero is a device-agnostic platform that fully automates lab equipment into a cohesive automation ecosystem and captures critical data that labs can use to make informed decisions rapidly. In the Scripps lab, the software has integrated and automated more than 25 scientific instruments from different manufacturers and is capturing data from the workflow in real-time.

Biosero is providing Scripps Institute free access to the software and full-time, on-site engineering and application support to build and implement the automated screening workcell.

The company is also providing Green Button Go software free for six months to any research team that will use it in a direct effort to prevent the spread or aid in the treatment of COVID-19.