Amri Announces Strategic Alliance To Advance Mass Spectrometry Capabilities For Drug Discovery

AMRI , a global contract research and manufacturing organization working to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, has entered an alliance with Bruker Daltonics and HighRes Biosolutions to develop new applications for using high throughput mass spectrometry (MS) for drug discovery.

AMRI has acquired the new MALDI PharmaPulse system from Bruker Daltonics and HighRes Biosolutions. The system will be deployed at AMRI's Integrated Drug Discovery Center and, in accordance with the terms of the alliance, Bruker Daltonics and HighRes Biosolutions will provide training and consulting to AMRI biologists to aid them in their development of protocols on the system that can be used for high throughput screening drug discovery programs.

"We see incredible potential for this technology at AMRI's Integrated Drug Discovery Center as this is the first technology to allow MS-based screening and analysis at the output required for cost-effective hit discovery," said Christopher Conway, senior vice president, Discovery and Development Services, at AMRI. "Accelerating all phases of drug discovery is critical to our customers. We will be better able to develop protocols using AMRI's novel, label-free screening assays and extend the utility of the MALDI PharmaPulse technology to complex cell-based assays for the identification of potential new drugs to meet a variety of unmet needs."

With technical support from these partners, AMRI will apply advanced laboratory automation and MS technologies to provide next generation, high throughput, label-free screening by MS (PharmaPulse). These improved assays and screening strategies will accelerate and enable development of drugs to treat complex diseases that are poorly served by current therapies. AMRI will apply its biological understanding and expertise to extend the utility of MALDI PharmaPulse technology to encompass complex cell-based assays and an expanded portfolio of MS-based biochemical assays.

"The protocols we can develop by applying the latest MS technologies to assay development have enormous potential for many disease areas, including such challenging areas as Alzheimer's disease and other neurological diseases," said Grant Carr, Ph.D., senior director, lead discovery, at AMRI. "The extreme sensitivity of Bruker's MALDI-TOF technology enables us to execute thousands of assays an hour while providing a level of information that often exceeds traditional screening assays.

When coupled with the HighRes' automation and process integration capabilities embodied in the MALDI PharmaPulse platform, we anticipate that this technique will enable entirely new avenues of drug discovery research."

"The MALDI PharmaPulse (MPP) solution is a game-changer for high throughput drug screening," said Paul Speir, senior vice president at Bruker Daltonics. "Combining true label-free detection with ultra-high speed MS analysis, MPP is designed to accelerate drug discovery and development. We are excited to be working with AMRI in the development of new reference assay protocols that pharma customers can customize and use."

Pharmaceutical companies require high throughput assay technologies to identify "Hits", the drug development starting points, from large collections of compounds. MALDI PharmaPulse systems combine Bruker's MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers with high throughput robotics and software from HighRes Biosolutions. The combination provides the first MS-based screening system able to screen > 10,000 test samples per day in Hit discovery mode and complete Hit discovery in a timely, cost effective manner using MS technology. AMRI has targeted a throughput of 100,000 test samples per day to match the requirements of clients refusing to compromise on screen quality.

About AMRI

Albany Molecular Research Inc is a global contract research and manufacturing organization that has been working with the life sciences industry to improve patient outcomes and the quality of life for more than two decades. With locations in North America, Europe and Asia, key business segments include Discovery and Development Services, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, Drug Product, and Fine Chemicals. For more information, please visit


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