Services provided

1. Project and assay guidance and development support - at all sites.

  • Joint advisory panel to help scientists with drug discovery technologies, processes and strategies
  • Assay development and optimization is often a bottleneck in drug discovery and chemical biology so we provide this support, both in terms of hands-on support as well as guidance and access to the best possible instrumentation and technologies.

2. Chemical screening – at the four affiliated centers, FIMM, CDR, ÅAU and VTT

  • The DDCB network offers world-class low- to ultra high throughput screening and targeted HTS/HCS support.
  • Access to high-throughput screening (HTS) robotics and related instruments for this and other BF network customers
  • Emerging technologies and approaches include high content screening, label-free detection, ultra-miniaturized assay formats to reduce costs and allow screening with rare reagents and specimens as well as qPCR and lysate microarray readouts.
  • Development of novel technologies and ultra-miniaturized assay formats to reduce costs for end-users

3. Drug sensitivity and resistance screening (DSRT) and drug repurposing – at FIMM

  • The DSRT platform at FIMM allows users to profile cellular model systems and ex-vivo clinical samples against an annotated set of signal transduction inhibitors and approved oncology drugs.
  • The current platform offers a set of 320 clinical compounds (with translational implications), a public discovery set of 357 profiled kinase inhibitors from GSK with new additions now planned for new targets and biological drugs that are likely to be of high interest to Biocenter scientists.
  • Analysis and interpretation support is provided by the DDCB network, and the BF Bioinformatics network.
  • The DSRT platform is poised to provide opportunities for exciting translational outcomes, such as unexpected therapeutic benefits to diseases, as seen in our studies of leukemia samples.

4. Chemoinformatics, molecular modeling, and virtual screening - at UEF, CDR, ÅAU.

  • The DDCB network brings together nationwide expertise in virtual screening using different technologies and different target class experience.
  • DDCB network offers cherry-picking of hit compounds from chemoinformatics from the national chemical collection and confirmatory testing at screening sites, making follow-up testing affordable to the user.
  • Chemoinformatics support for hit compound evaluation and optimization is also supported.

5. Follow-up screening and testing – all the sites.

  • Hit analoging, SAR, Secondary screens, compound QC, prediction of in vivo properties for POC
  • Assay expertise at the participating partner sites all bring capacity to support users in follow-up testing beyond screening to take screening hits towards a proof-of-principle compound.
  • In particular, CDR offers world-class expertise in in vitro and in silico pharmacological profiling of compounds.
  • CDR also provides the capacity and expertise to validate integrity, stability and metabolism of chemicals with mass spectrometry.

6. Access to a large national chemical collection

  • A compound collection comprising more than 140 000 synthetic drug-like chemicals, natural products and clinical drugs are provided to the users via a public, searchable web interface.
  • Automated nanoscale dispensing systems allows for the users to access the compounds as part of pre-defined or in user-defined sets.
  • A collection of drugs and state-of-the-art bioactive tool compounds are also available one-at-a-time or in small subsets for biologists interested an affordable source for best-in-class inhibitors and other bioactives. This service will be further enhanced by adding on a biologics collection of drugs and bioactive macromolecules.

7. Translation

  • To facilitate translation of user discoveries into commercial and translational space, a translational technologies advisory board has been linked to the DDCB network.
  • Links to external medicinal and organic chemistry groups (within e.g. ESFRI-links from EU OPENSCREEN and EATRIS) will be forged soon.

8. Training – at CDR and FIMM

  • CDR will in collaboration with the FinPharma Doctoral Program organize courses  “Introduction to HTS Technologies” in 2014 and “High-Content Screening” in 2016. The courses will provide training for users in Finland regarding screening instrumentation, different detection technologies, assay development, validation and quality control for screening programs.
  • A one-day chemical biology symposium with the aim of educating and stimulating the research community about chemical biology research and approaches has been organized by the DDCB together with the Helsinki Biomedical Graduate Program on a biennial basis (2011 and scheduled again for the autumn of 2013).

 

The operations of the DDCB network are open to all members of the Biocenter Finland network Universities under similar access rules. Users currently pay for material and reagent costs as well as nominal fees for access to the specialty equipment and materials (such as the libraries). If the facility is fully booked, the principle of first-come first-serve applies. Commercial entities pay for the services according to the full-cost model.

 

 

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