Apr 2014

Axxam launches the ion channel-FLASH technology based on light mediated activation of voltage-gated ion channels

April 29th, 2014 – Axxam SpA (Milan/Italy), a leading provider of discovery services has developed ion channelFLASH, an innovative approach for the “in vitro” study of voltage-gated ion channels. Axxam scientists have turned the idea of target activation by light impulse into a new technology platform, which allows assays for voltage-gated ion channels to be run without the need of artificial activation with KCl.  

In the ion channelFLASH platform, the activation of a voltage-gated ion channel is triggered by a light impulse. This light impulse activates channel rhodopsin, a light sensitive ion channel cloned from the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinardti, which triggers a membrane depolarization thereby  activating the voltage-gated ion channels. Ion channelFLASH based assays can be used on FLIPRTETRA and other similar instruments which use LED-based photon generating systems eliminating time consuming, low throughput and expensive patch-clamp based methods for ion channel discovery research. The ion channelFLASH platform, which comprises different channel rhodopsin receptors, will be used to provide clients with a turnkey approach for the generation of innovative cell-based assays as research and screening tools for the important target class of voltage-gated ion channels.

The technology is based on a license agreement with Max-Planck-Innovation GmbH (München/Germany) for the use of biological photoreceptors to directly light-activate ion channels. Under the license, Axxam gains access to the channel rhodopsin technology discovered by Ernst Bamberg and Georg Nagel from the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics (MPI) and Peter Hegemann from the University of Regensburg, which is protected through several patent applications. The MPI is an Institute of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (“MPG”), Germany´s leading basic research organization.

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Jan 2014

Axxam and Cellectis bioresearch announce their collaboration to offer a new generation of cell-based assays

January 17th, 2014 – Axxam (Milan), a leading provider of discovery services including assay development for high throughput screening, and Cellectis bioresearch (Paris), the cell engineering expert, have started a collaboration to offer to the Life Science industry an extensive range of integrated discovery services based on genomic engineering technologies.

Under the joint offering, clients will be provided with a one-stop-shop approach for the generation of cell-based assays through genomic engineering. Genes of interest will be modified using Cellectis bioresearch’s proprietary genome engineering technologies, after which functional cellular assays will be developed using Axxam’s expertise and technologies for cell line generation. Both the required gene modification and the resulting functionality change will be experimentally demonstrated. Finally, validated assays for screening and profiling experiments will be provided to the client. With the currently available genome engineering technologies virtually any gene, at any position, in any cell type can be addressed for a wide range of applications such as knock-in insertions, knock-out deletions, reporter cell line generations and others.

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Jan 2014

Hit Discovery Constance GmbH: a new European hub for HTS and compound management

Constance (Germany), January 14th, 2014 – Today Hit Discovery Constance GmbH (“HDC”), a new joint venture organisation between Lead Discovery Center (Dortmund/Germany), Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3, KULeuven, Leuven/Belgium) and Axxam (Milan/Italy) has started its operation. The new company is based in Constance (Germany) and will make use of the already established equipment and know-how of the former Takeda/Nycomed/Altana screening and compound management facilities at the site.

HDC is a service oriented company which provides high quality drug discovery research services to the Life Science industry and academic or research institutions.

The offering includes assay development, High Throughput Screening (“HTS”) using radiometric formats, as well as conventional biochemical and cellular assay formats, automated High Content Screening (“HCS”) and Biosafety level 2 (BSL2) HTS. HDC’s labs are equipped with three state-of-the-art screening stations, a Screening Collection of 240.000 compounds and offer a REMP-based compound storage & handling facility which allows high quality storage and high throughput compound picking activities. Combined with Axxam`s already established HTS services and compound storage facilities, HDC represent one of the largest screening hubs worldwide.

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