New, combined MALDI and triple quadrupole mass spectrometry platform from Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX speeds up drug discovery

19 Apr 2007
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The new FlashQuant™ mass spectrometry platform from Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX is the first commercially available system to combine triple quadrupole mass spectrometry with MALDI technology. The FlashQuant is designed to help pharmaceutical companies by providing unparalleled speed during compound screening, increasing the throughput efficiency during early stage drug discovery research and reducing lead compound failure rates.

The new platform uses a patented method developed by Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX for high throughput quantitation of small molecules using MALDI and multiple reaction monitoring on a triple quadrupole mass analyser. It delivers a 25-fold increase in speed for small molecule quantitation, compared with the fastest liquid chromatography-coupled triple quadrupole mass spectrometers currently available.

One of the initial applications expected for the FlashQuant platform is early absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) profiling in pharmaceutical discovery laboratories. The new system is suitable for high throughput ADME laboratories of all sizes, helping to greatly decrease analysis time, freeing staff and resources to work on other projects. The robust instrument provides efficient transmission of ions and can run hundreds of thousands of samples at the levels of sensitivity required for ADME applications.

Scientists at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Groton, Connecticut, USA, have worked with the new technology in their ADME laboratory, which runs an average of 75,000 samples per five-day week to provide ADME data for early discovery projects. These data are funnelled back to chemists who use it to optimise their compounds’ ADME properties.

“This is a disruptive technology that will make us rethink how we do things,” said Dr Cole, Research Fellow at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. “The tremendous increase in speed unlocks a lot of potential for our lab, allowing us to reconsider running experiments that we don’t have the capacity for now. With this throughput we could essentially ‘front-load’ discovery, which increases the chances ultimately of getting a compound to market.”

The FlashQuant platform is expected to be available for shipment in late summer 2007.

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