Editorial Article: What’s Hot in Drug Discovery Screening: SelectScience Special Feature

We take a look at some of the latest methods and technologies disrupting drug discovery and how they’re reshaping the industry

14 Feb 2019

Cell Biology Special Feature

The drug discovery process aims to identify small molecule compounds that have potential as therapeutics for disease, by eliciting a desired effect from a biological target. With the industry striving for cost-effective and efficient approaches to the drug discovery process, screening technologies that enable the earlier identification of compounds most likely to make it to clinic are key.

This month,  in our Drug Discovery Screening SelectScience Special Feature, we take a look at some of the latest trends in screening for drug discovery and the technologies advancing this field, including the  latest methods for phenotypic screening, new tools for structure-based drug discovery, CRISPR screening technologies, and developments in data analysis. Plus, hear from the scientists hoping to bring effective treatments to patients faster.

Read on to learn about:


Hot Topics in Drug Discovery Screening:


Streamline Your Cell Analysis, NGS, Protein & Metabolomics Workflows

Research scientist holding a pipetteSample preparation in metabolomics, NGS and cell and protein analysis, can be laborious, time-consuming, and have limited reproducibility. In this video interview from SLAS2019, learn how the Agilent Bravo automated liquid handling platform and comprehensive software can help you to automate sample preparation for consistent and reproducible results, improving downstream analysis and creating more walk-away time. Learn more about the Bravo liquid handling platform and watch the video interview to learn how the technology can help advance drug discovery.


Watch Video




Enhance Immune Cell CharacterizationCell proliferation monitoring - tumor heterogeneity and precision medicine application note

Immune cell characterization requires a multitude of assays to identify different cell types and their function – immunophenotyping assays aid in identifying classic cell surface markers, while cytokine analysis assays are required for identifying the functional profile of those cells.

Running these assays separately is costly, time-consuming and complex. In this infographic from Sartorius, discover a T cell activation assay in which cell health, function, phenotype, and secreted cytokines were simultaneously analyzed in a single well on the Intellicyt iQue® Screener PLUS, using miniaturized assay volumes.


Download Infographic




A New Solution for Fragment-Based Lead Discovery

Research scientist holding a pipetteScreening a fragment library of broad molecular mass and complexity range requires a method capable of detecting binding events independent of molecular mass and binding site.

This application note describes how Dianthus by NanoTemper Technologies was used for molecular interaction screening  of a fragment library from a large chemical space with target molecule histone methyltransferase (HMT) G9a, an epigenetic gene regulator and focus of oncological drug discovery. 

Learn how the technology enables fast detection and quantification of molecular interactions in solution, independent of the mass and size of the two interacting molecules utilizing very little sample.

Download the application note and learn more about the Dianthus.

Download Method




Accelerate Structure-Based Drug DiscoveryImage representing angiogenesis

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) enables high-resolution imaging of large protein complexes without crystallization, helping you to visualize even the most challenging targets, such as GPCRs or multi-component complexes.

In this download, from Thermo Fisher Scientific, learn more about the power of cryo-EM and how it can help you to unlock new biological insights and speed up your drug discovery projects.

Download the slides and learn about the Thermo Scientific™ Glacios™ and Krios™ G3i cryo transmission electron microscopes.

Download Slides



  • Nobel Prize Winner Richard Henderson Discusses the Impact of Cryo-EM on Pharma

In this exclusive interview for The Scientists’ Channel, watch Dr. Richard Henderson, 2017 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, discuss the growing importance of cryo-electron microscopy for science and how leading pharmaceutical companies are working together to utilize this revolutionary technique.

  • 3D Human Spheroids as a Predictive Model

With the industry striving for more physiologically relevant testing conditions to improve predictability in drug discovery, we speak to Dr. Ryan Gordon, of StemoniX, to learn about the company’s microBrain 3D platform.

  • Microenvironment is Key to Cellular Models

Dr. Nathalie Maubon launched HCS Pharma in 2014, inspired by an idea: in order to obtain and select effective drugs, more relevant cellular models are needed for screening. In this SelectScience interview, Maubon provides insight into the development of in vitro models and assays to advance phenotypic screening, the cellular imaging technology enabling her work, and why microenvironment is key to the future of drug discovery. 

  • 3D Image Analysis Reveals Complex Cell-Cell Interactions

3D screening provides rich data, essential for faster drug discovery. Learn about the power of true 3D image analysis and how it is helping to advance immune-oncology research in this interview with scientists from contract research organization OcellO. Plus, discover the new technology from Olympus enabling true 3D high-content analysis in our recent webinar.

  • CRISPR Screening: A New Approach in Drug Discovery

From novel target discovery to target validation and better identification of compound mechanisms of action, genomic editing has potential to impact many applications in drug discovery. Learn how CRISPR-Cas9 technology is opening up new applications of genomic screening, including whole-genome studies, in this interview with Dr. James Goldmeyer of Horizon Discovery. Plus learn how the technology is playing a key role in studies at the Duke University Functional Genomics Shared Resource in this interview with its director, Dr. So Young Kim.

  • Rapid Sample Processing with Acoustic Mass Spectrometry

In a recent video interview, Dr. Jonathan Wingfield , Principal Scientist at AstraZeneca, discusses the development of acoustic mass spectrometry technology for high-throughput screening and how the technology is helping to save time and the reagent costs associated with  screening millions of compounds.

  • New Liquid Handling Technology to Reduce Assay Development Cycle Times 

Hear how scientists at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Stevenage, UK, are working in collaboration with TTP Labtech to develop new liquid handling technology that will help to accelerate screening assay development, from target identification, to candidate molecule identification. 

Image of the CosmosID stacked bar graph

Explore our selection of the biggest news stories in  drug discovery screening:

  1. Novel Small Molecule Program Aims to Address Unmet Medical Need in Neuroscience
  2. Bio-Rad’s Automation-Ready Flow Cytometer Enables Scale-Up of Multiple Compound Screening Assays
  3. Horizon Discovery Extends CRISPR Screening Service to Primary Human T Cells
  4. Greiner Bio-One’s Cell Magnetization Technology Enables Reproducible Spheroid Formation 
  5. A New Approach to Tackle Serious Bacterial Infections
  6. Scientists' Choice Awards Winners for Drug Discovery & Development Announced at SLAS2019


Top Drug Discovery Screening Product Reviews


VersaGel®/ Symphony® 3D cell culture platform by Cypre Inc.

Cell Biology Special Feature Review of the Tacta Mechanical Pipette


iQue Screener PLUS by Intellicyt Corp

Cell Biology Special Feature Review of the Picus Pipette



Cell Biology Special Feature Review of the Tacta Mechanical Pipette


Echo® 550 Liquid Handler by Labcyte Inc.

Cell Biology Special Feature Review of the Tacta Mechanical Pipette


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