LAB TECHNIQUES · Thermo's turnkey system includes software suite to speed throughput and smooth logistics
BY SALVATORE SALAMONE
February 15, 2005 | Thermo Electron has introduced the LeadStream ADME/Tox turnkey system that combines sample preparation, assaying, and mass spectroscopy systems with workflow and data management software. The goal, Thermo says, is to industrialize the in vitro ADME/Tox process, a frequent bottleneck in drug development.
"A test that should take one week to conduct often requires three weeks because of scheduling and other logistical factors," says David Elkin, a research chemist at a Phoenix biotech company. Simple chores, such as preparing sample plates or ensuring that appropriate reagents are available for a test, are generally time-consuming and not well organized.
Most ADME/Tox systems are comprised of several subsystems including devices to re-format samples from master plates to daughter plates, material handling equipment, equipment to conduct assays, and a mass spectroscopy system. "You have islands of automation," says Robert DeWitte, business relationship manager, ADME/Tox, Thermo Electron's life and laboratory sciences group.
One common problem is that these discrete subsystems do not integrate well, leaving the task of managing the experiment's flow to the researcher. Thermo Electron's turnkey system seeks to solve this problem.
The software includes LeadStream Reformatter, which prepares and distributes plates of samples offline to speed the testing process; LeadStream ADME/Tox Workcell, which conducts ADME/Tox assaying; LeadStream LC/MS, a system that performs mass spectroscopy tests of samples; and LeadStream Orchestrator, which manages lab workflow, and tracks samples, data, and work requests throughout a lab.