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Driving Sensitivity and Resilience in Mass Spectrometry at ASMS 2024

Jose Castro-Perez and Chris Lock.
Chris Lock, vice president of global R&D at SCIEX, and Jose Catro-Perez, vice president of product management at SCIEX. Credit: SCIEX.
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The American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) conference celebrates the latest innovations in mass spectrometry (MS) techniques and their expanding applications.

At this year’s event, SCIEX unveiled the newest mass spectrometer in the company’s quantitative portfolio, the SCIEX 7500+ systemTM, which maintains high sensitivity for up to twice as long as existing technology. The company also launched ZT Scan data independent acquisition (DIA)TM for liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), enabling the measurement of all compounds within a complex sample in a targeted manner and facilitating unique advancements in applications such as biomarker validation and drug discovery.

Artificial intelligence (AI) emerged as a key theme at this year’s conference, with many exhibitors and speakers highlighting AI-driven innovations in MS workflows. In this realm, SCIEX announced its new partnership with Mass Analytica to introduce AI quant softwareTM, which utilizes AI and machine learning tools to accelerate data processing efforts.

Technology Networks had the pleasure of interviewing Jose Castro-Perez, vice president of product management at SCIEX, and Chris Lock, vice president of global R&D at SCIEX. We learned about how the company’s latest product launches meet user requirements across a variety of applications, and SCIEX's vision for future technological innovations.

Molly Campbell (MC): SCIEX has announced two new product launches at this year’s ASMS: the SCIEX 7500+ system and ZT Scan DIA. Can you discuss how each of these products addresses your customers’ needs?

Jose Castro-Perez (JCP): The SCIEX 7500+ system is a new triple quad platform with enhanced speed and resilience. We hear from customers that they are under pressure to meet deadlines faster and test from increasingly complex sample types. The SCIEX 7500+ system addresses this concern by maintaining the highest performance for longer, even when running a wide variety of matrices.

ZT Scan DIA is the next generation in data-independent acquisition (DIA) that leverages the combination of the quadrupole dimension with the rich MS2 data attainable from the Zeno trap. For proteomics, ZT Scan DIA provides consistency and precision, but addresses the needs of improved throughput and depth of coverage.

“Over the years, we have worked with experts in the field and innovated various breakthrough quantitative solutions. We have seen demand increase for testing on more and more sample types at high sensitivity. The SCIEX 7500+ system meets these needs by ensuring the highest performance can be maintained for longer and across these increasingly complex matrices,” said Joe Fox, president at SCIEX.

Alexander Beadle (AB): Can you discuss examples from early adopter customers on how they are using the SCIEX 7500+ system?

Chris Lock (CL): In developing the 7500+, we collected many of the most challenging matrices from our customers, including pharmaceuticals, quality control labs and CROs. We wanted to put the system through rigorous testing to know it can keep up complex matrices like cannabis, crashed plasma and food. Thousands of injections later and we are still maintaining high performance and sensitivity.

MC: ZT scan acquisition combines DIA approaches with sensitivity, selectivity and quantitative precision. Can you discuss how this acquisition mode has been developed, and how early users have implemented it?

JCP: ZT Scan DIA is an evolution of our successful Zeno SWATH DIA technology on the ZenoTOF 7600 system and was developed in collaboration with our customers.

Early customers have implemented this technology in their labs to drive higher throughput and detect and quantify more proteins per unit time. The high precision in quantitation is what differentiates this technology, especially when quantifying low-abundant proteins. There is an increased throughput of up to ten times, thus leading to more informed answers in a much shorter turnaround time.

AB: SCIEX also announced a partnership with Mass Analytica to introduce AI quant software. Can you explain how this software accelerates data processing?

JCP: This quantitation software leverages AI and machine learning approaches to improve method processing and optimization.

AI quant software focuses on obtaining the best possible data for quantitation that fits a user-defined criterion. Productivity gains equate to maximizing the profitability of operations and allowing users to spend more time-solving other problems as they can automate routine tasks.

“The amount of data produced with SCIEX systems is rich with information, but typically only a small part can be used during a manual process. AI quant software can maximize the use of the data, turning it into information to derive the customer endpoint while minimizing human intervention. It is a streamlined solution turning mass spectrometry data into a customizable endpoint such as clearance, in vivo pharmacokinetics and more,” said Dr. Ismael Zamorav, CEO of Mass Analytica.

MC: In which industries do you see the most significant growth potential for your SCIEX’s product range?

JCP: The potential for growth is significant in a variety of industries. A few to note include:

  • In food and environmental testing, the PFAS crisis continues to develop. There is a need to test an increasing number of samples across a wide range of sample types and matrices. The combined sensitivity and resilience of the SCIEX 7500+ system can allow customers to test more samples across more sample types with the required sensitivity to meet increasingly challenging regulations.
  • In drug discovery, pharma and CRO labs are experiencing greater demand to test more samples on shorter timelines. Innovations in AI can help to increase instrument uptime and reliability, thus boosting output and profitability.
  • Throughout drug development pipelines, the high throughput capability of the Echo MS+ system can reduce the time, cost and risk in making critical decisions. Researchers in drug discovery can make faster and more confident decisions in hit identification and iterative lead optimization. This will help speed up the process of drug discovery and reduce the potential for false positive or negative results.
  • Researchers need high quality quantitative data to drive biological outcomes. ZT Scan DIA can analyze low abundance protein targets that can be used in the development of novel, next-generation therapies for cancer, and to translate novel biomarkers for disease and drug efficacy.

AB: Looking ahead, what are SCIEX’s strategic goals for the next 12 months, particularly regarding market expansion and technological innovation?

JCP: Our goal is to continue to address customer analytical and bioanalytical challenges across all markets in which SCIEX participates and provide excellent service, too, in order to improve productivity and instrument uptime. This is clearly exemplified in this year’s ASMS announcements.

Jose Castro-Perez and Chris Lock were speaking to Molly Campbell, Senior Science Writer at Technology Networks, and Alexander Beadle, Science Writer at Technology Networks.

About the interviewees:

As vice president of product management, Jose Castro-Perez is responsible for the overall ownership of the global SCIEX product portfolio for CE, LC/MS, software ecosystems and accessories including product line management, technology roadmap, new product development and revenue/margin growth through value creation and commercial support. Jose has 25 years of experience as a customer in Pharma, CRO and the Biotech industry. Jose Castro-Perez. Credit: SCIEX.

As vice president of global R&D, Chris Lock is responsible for software and hardware research and development for LCMS & CE at SCIEX. Since joining SCIEX over 20 years ago, Chris has held multiple technical and leadership roles with increasing responsibility. He has significant experience working with product and market management teams, and building strong cross-company relationships.