Pre-defined and Custom Assay Development

Our assay development and screening biologists combine target class and cell biology expertise with state-of-the-art instrumentation to provide services tailored to your requirements. We provide a collaborative environment and work closely with our teams in medicinal chemistry, ADME, structural biology and fragment-based drug discovery to deliver within challenging timelines.

Factors to Consider for Assay Development

A well-designed assay takes many factors into consideration. For example, assays that work well in small batches may not be scalable; compounds and reagents can be difficult to obtain; and perhaps worst of all, false positives and negatives can shift the focus away from relevant hits. Are you prepared to address these issues? Take a look:

Consideration Common factors
Reagents Availability/batch
Stability with time
Stability of expression (for cellular targets)
Control compounds/conditions Are they available?
Are they valid?
Assay robustness Appropriate pharmacology
DMSO tolerance
Z’ ‐factor & signal window (under valid control conditions)
Signal stability
Assay format 384 or 1536-well
Assay volume
Reagent availability and cost
False positive liability
Confidence in hits and hit rate False positive and false negative rates
Assay noise
Predicted activity threshold and hit rate
Positional effects on data distribution
Screening concentration
Automation Can the assay be scaled?
Liquid handling considerations
Liquid handler quality control (QC) interval
Data handling Processing volume of data
Error trapping
Pass/fail criteria
Reporting
Hit progression Orthogonal assays
Selectivity assays

Our scientists are skilled at evaluating clients’ pre-defined assays, are able to make recommendations, and can create custom solutions that overcome some of the challenges of assay design.

Consult with a Discovery Specialist

Flexible Schedule and Price Structure

Charles River’s assay development and screening services are designed to meet your budget and timeline. Prior to the launch of any campaign, we meet with you to fully understand your project’s starting point, scope, and objectives and recommend the best course of action. Our standard fee-for-service contract maximizes budget and minimizes time for projects with a well-defined scope.

Alternatively, our full-time equivalent (FTE) option is available if you need additional services such as target validation, exploration of feasibility, or execution of multiple assays. In this model, we designate an experienced alliance manager to serve as your single point of contact for scientific direction, resource prioritization, and project scheduling.

Assay Development Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)