Target Validation and Assay Development | SRI International

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Target Validation and Assay Development

SRI researchers have extensive experience in target validation and assay development, discovering new molecules to interrogate those targets, and developing new molecular entities into lead compounds for clinical evaluation.

To identify a new target, SRI researchers engage in assay development, and then use cell-based assays to define its molecular signature with assays such as those listed below, or assays developed to address a specific target. After establishing cell-based effects, they then use affinity chromatography, with the compound on a matrix, to pull out and identify proteins that interact with it.

SRI has played a major role in advancing more than 100 small molecules, biologics, and vaccines through Investigational New Drug applications and Phase I clinical trials.

Cell-based Assays

  • Cell viability/compound cytotoxicity assays
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • RNAi-based target validation
  • Intracellular pathogen assays
  • Cellular reporter assays

Mechanism-based Animal Models

  • Collagen-induced arthritis
  • Spontaneous diabetes
  • Pain
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • siRNA

Design and Validation of Biochemical and Cellular Screens

  • Unique molecular libraries for target screening through combinatorial chemistry
  • Partnerships for scale-up manufacturing of diagnostic reagents and kits

Proteomics and Metabolomics

  • Novel fluorescence probes for early detection of disease
  • Shotgun and quantitative approaches
  • Characterization of post-translational modifications
  • Gene expression analysis
    • Reporter gene activation / repression
    • mRNA arrays and miRNA arrays

Imaging and Analysis

  • Specialized histology
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Transmission and scanning electron microscopy
  • Quantitative image analysis
  • Noninvasive fluorescence, bioluminescence, and X-ray imaging of rodents