Hit Identification Services

Charles River has a range of hit identification services that can deliver high-quality, validated hit compounds for your drug discovery project. Drug discovery screening can include a traditional approach or in silico screening technologies. The approaches can be applied in parallel or individually, depending on the nature of the project and the resources available. 


Label-free Screening

Our newest partner SAMDI Tech provides proprietary label-free HTS mass spectrometry (MS) to discover small molecules that engage a specific target, enabling hit identification for targets not amenable to traditional biochemical assays.

Ask about label-free

Hit ID Capabilities

Our highly experienced teams regularly evaluate early-stage programs and will advise you concerning the best drug discovery screening strategy for successful progression to hit-to-lead studies. 

Consult with a discovery specialist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Hit Identification

  • What is hit identification (hit ID)?

    The goal of hit identification, also known as hit-finding or hit discovery, is to deliver a compound with confirmed activity against a biological target. This target compound is called a “hit” and is often the starting point for chemistry activities. The hit may also serve as a tool to validate a target.

  • What is in silico screening?

    In silico screening, also known as computational screening or virtual screening, uses computational calculations to identify chemical compounds with an enhanced probability of acting on the target of interest with the desired biological effect. Output of a computational screen can be hundreds to a few thousand compounds for subsequent experimental screening and can be used successfully for difficult targets such as GPCRs. As a standalone activity, this computational focus on the compounds that are most likely to be successful results in shorter screen times and reduced costs in hit identification. Computational screening can also be conducted in parallel with HTS and/or fragment campaigns to capture both focused and diversity approaches to hit identification.

  • Does Charles River offer full-time equivalent or fee-for-service screening services?

    Charles River offers both fee-for-service (FFS) and full-time equivalent (FTE) business models. Projects with a well-defined scope work well using the FFS approach. With projects that require target validation or multiple assay options to be investigated, an FTE approach will be more effective. The FTE model is most agile, empowering the scientific team to make data-driven decisions without contract amendments.

  • How long does a hit identification program take and how much will it cost?

    Costs and project duration will vary depending on the drug target and molecular complexity. For planning purposes, Charles River provides guidelines that include prices and estimated duration in months based on projects of typical complexity and duration.