Versatile Pipettes Streamline the Production of Venom-based Screening Assays
Jan 30 2021
Venomtech®, a leading UK-based biotechnology company founded in 2010, is harnessing the power of natural venoms produced by animals to generate compound libraries that are used in drug discovery studies. With a collection of nearly 200 species, from spiders to scorpions and even centipedes to study, the team at Venomtech is using Integra’s VOYAGER adjustable tip spacing pipette to increase efficiency in the production of venom-based screening assays. Steve Trim, CSO of Venomtech, explained: “Each species has a unique venom containing several hundred different components. The library of compounds available to us using venom is therefore enormous, and we are only just scratching the surface, with the compounds derived from these venoms not just driving the discovery of pain-relief and oncology drugs, but also being used in the development of antimicrobials, insecticides and even cosmetic products.”
“Our core product is our Targeted-Venom Discovery Array™ (T-VDA), which include venoms from 12 species selected according to the target of interest. Each venom is fractionated by 2D HPLC, then standardised, plated out and freeze-dried in 384 well plates to create the compound library. Our production process starts with a 96 well stock plates, so we need to transfer to 384 well array plates, and so the ability to electronically adjust the tip spacing one-handed was a major part of the decision to choose the VOYAGER. It stood out in side-by-side comparisons in terms of the sheer ability of the instrument, as well as the service and interactions with Integra. Its precision, lightweight and quiet motor-drive were definitely key features in our decision. The repeat dispensing function is really important for our workflow, as it means you are not going backwards and forwards to your reservoir each time – making the process much faster – while the serial dilution function is perfect for creating standards with different concentrations. We bought our VOYAGER at least seven years ago, and it has been a serious workhorse for us - not just in production, but also for our R&D and QC work,” concluded Steve.
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