Biotech And Pharma Executives Discuss Value Of Microfluidic Technologies In Drug Discovery At The International Symposium On Laboratory Automation And Robotics

BOSTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Symposium on Laboratory Automation and Robotics (ISLAR), recently held in Boston, Massachusetts, today announced the most successful conference in its history, marked by significant advancements in applied automation in life sciences. The majority of these advancements focused on increased productivity, improved analytical results, and decreased costs in drug discovery and pharmaceutical development. Attending and presenting companies at ISLAR included Amgen, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, AstraZenaca Pharmaceuticals LP, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers Squibb, Caliper Technologies, Eli Lilly & Co, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson PRD, Merck and Company, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Wyeth Ayerst, and Novartis Pharma AG.

"The field of microfluidics holds vast promise which is just starting to be tapped," stated Ching-Hua Tseng, Senior Research Scientist of Pfizer Inc. "We have evaluated Caliper's LabChip system for use with cell-based calcium flux assays and found it to be reliable for high throughput screening. The difference from traditional assay methods has been lower false-positive rates for the Caliper chip and the ability of the miniaturized format to reduce cell usage by a factor of 100 to 200, enabling high throughout screens for cell lines that are slow growing or are difficult to scale up."

Other presenters also discussed how Caliper's LabChip technology produces exceptionally reproducible and meaningful data for high throughput screening, while, at the same time, enabling significant savings in reagent costs and assay development resource requirements. A user presented data demonstrating cost savings of millions of dollars in just one high throughput screen enabled by Caliper's LapChip technology that allowed the use of approximately 1/5th of the enzyme and 1/100th of the substrate usually needed in experimentation.

"The powerful impact that microfluidic technologies has had on the screening efforts of leading companies is a strong indication that our industry is at the dawn of a new period of significant progress in drug discovery. Many industry leaders testified to the exquisite data that helped them make better, earlier lead optimization decisions, and eliminate false positives and false negatives," said Kevin Hrusovsky, CEO of Caliper, who also sits on the Association for Laboratory Automation's (ALA) Board of Directors. "Although we had mixed emotions about this year being the last ISLAR, we eagerly look forward to participating in ALA's new conference next year, ALA LabFusion 2004, and to hearing more about our customers' successes in eliminating bottlenecks, increasing productivity and improving analytical results throughout the drug discovery process."


The final International Symposium on Laboratory Automation and Robotics (ISLAR), which is recognized as one of the most definitive conferences in the world on applied automation in life sciences, was held from October 19-22, 2003 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. This four-day international symposium provided an opportunity for scientists and managers from the world's premier biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to exchange ideas and results on eliminating bottlenecks, increasing productivity and improving analytical results in drug discovery and pharmaceutical development. The components of this program will be incorporated into ALA LabFusion 2004. Caliper recently signed on as the exclusive Primary Sponsor for the ALA event, to be held from June 12-16, 2004 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

For additional information contact: Christine O'Neil ISLAR 508-497-2224


CONTACT: Christine O'Neil for ISLAR, +1-508-497-2224

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