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Labware suppliers in partnership to create solutions for chemical compound and drug discovery laboratories


COMPUTYPE, INC. AND Wheaton Industries have partnered to help biopharmaceutical companies improve


standard laboratory processes such as sample tracking and inventory management through the use of pre-labeled 2D barcoded glass microtubes. Computype and Wheaton’s collaboration points to a trend where labware suppliers are increasingly working together to find solutions to help customers increase productivity. “We’re always looking for ways to


improve efficiencies and productivity in lifescience laboratories,” said Computype Laboratory Market Manager Eric Isberg. “Partnerships, especially in the research lab environment, are a resourceful, strategic way to help our customers solve challenges such as lost productivity due to tedious tasking.” For example, Computype and


Wheaton recently partnered to improve automation in a drug discovery and development laboratory through the introduction of the EZ Ex-Traction 2D barcoded glass microtube. “We were looking to convert to a tube-centric inventory system down to the mircotube format. We knew we


were spending too much time on manual tracking and inventory, and we were eager to further automate our tare-weighing and storage processes,” said Lexicon Lab Automation Specialist Sean Schuette. “By using glass microtubes pre-labeled with 2D barcodes, we dramatically improved both tracking efficiency and accuracy. We reduced our tube-loss rate to nearly zero – a significant improvement.” Wheaton’s borosilicate glass


microtubes avoid introducing leachables or plasticizers into assays, and can be customized to fit any application. Similarly, Computype’s pre-barcoded labware services eliminate the need to manually label tubes, vials, plates and slides. “It’s satisfying to develop a product


that results in tangible improvements for a customer,” said Wheaton Account Manager Tracie Tonetta. “Our collaboration with Computype has produced something that will be valuable to other drug discovery laboratories because of its precision engineering, durability and 2D barcode technology.” ■


ML Studying cervical cancer


A BREAKTHROUGH IN studying cervical cancer has enabled researchers to produce sufficient amounts of a protein produced by HPV – now they hope to develop drugs to target this protein. Researchers from the University of


Leeds were the first to produce adequate amounts of E5 – a protein produced by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is capable of transforming cells and initiating cancer. This meant they could study it in the laboratory in detail for the first time. “We are really excited about this study,”


said leader Dr Andrew Macdonald. “Very little is known about this protein because no one has ever really been able to express it in


6 www.lifesciencesmagazines.com


the lab in sufficient quantities to study it, but we have recently learned how to do that.” Macdonald and his colleagues discovered


the E5 protein forms a ring like structure that is able to puncture cell membranes, creating what is known as a virus encoded ion channel. Now, they hope to target therapeutic drugs at the channel to try and block the pore. “There is a major drive in the HPV


community to develop therapeutics, hand in hand with the cervical cancer vaccination, but the question has always been ‘what do you target?’” said Macdonald. “We have now found a function that we can use to target these drugs.” ■


ML


NEWS


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