Industry News: UPM Biomedicals and PerkinElmer collaborate to offer high-throughput 3D cell screening solution

30 Sep 2021


UPM Biomedicals has announced that it has entered into an agreement with PerkinElmer Health Sciences, Inc., for the life sciences leader to act as a distributor of the GrowDex® and GrowDase™ range of products. This new collaboration will offer researchers a complete solution for high-throughput screening (HTS) of 3D cell cultures in early drug discovery, bringing together PerkinElmer’s cell imaging and automation solutions and knowledge, and UPM’s animal-free 3D reagent offerings and expertise. 

Automated HTS is frequently used to assess the therapeutic potential for hundreds of candidate drugs in parallel, and the rise of 3D cell culture approaches has created a need for new high-quality reagents suitable for HTS applications, such as cancer drug screening. UPM’s nanofibrillar cellulose GrowDex hydrogels create an environment that better resembles the conditions inside the human body, and can be effectively handled at room temperature, making them well suited for scale-up and automation without compromising performance. Combined with GrowDase – which enables effective one-step recovery of cells for downstream processing applications – this provides an ideal solution for high throughput 3D cell culture applications, offering more reproducible and reliable results to help predict how drugs will work in vivo. 

PerkinElmer’s Opera Phenix® Plus automated high-content screening system is the ideal complement to GrowDex hydrogels, and this combined solution has already been successfully used in several notable research projects, including automated drug sensitivity and resistance testing of patient-derived cells for personalized cancer treatment research. 

Johana Kuncova-Kallio, Director at UPM Biomedicals, commented: “This solution brings together the instrument, software, and cell culture matrices to make life easier for researchers, providing a high level of consistency between experiments. It will be exciting to see how this collaboration will help advance research and speed up the drug development process. Together with PerkinElmer, we have ensured that the products are ready to ship immediately.”

Alan Fletcher, Senior Vice President of Life Science at PerkinElmer, added: “Establishing the physiological relevance of potential therapeutic approaches earlier in the research cycle is crucial to advancing drug discovery, and to reducing clinical trial failure rates. By collaborating with UPM to offer its innovative 3D cell reagents, we can expand our offering for 3D cell culture models, further helping researchers get to the critical insights they need faster, to uncover successful drug candidates.” 

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