Hit Finding with HTS

High-throughput screening (HTS) is an efficient means to rapidly identify promising compounds, but what happens when you get poor data? Unanticipated results can derail your program or force a total restart, wasting your resources.

Get protection from the unpredictability of science and make the most of your high-throughput screening investment by working with a flexible, collaborative partner who lets you know the minute the unexpected occurs and makes the necessary adjustments to optimize your program and keep you on track.


Scientist conduction hit finding experiments.

Hit Finding eGuide

Hit finding is complicated. From traditional high-throughput screening to virtual screening, there are many options to consider. This eGuide provides a walk through of hit identification approaches and next steps.
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Charles River regularly invests in the best HTS screening platform technologies. We screen for the identification of hit compounds using our own libraries, or those libraries brought to us by our clients for HTS screening in drug discovery.

Compound Libraries for HTS

Whether you’re targeting oncology, neuroscience, rare disease, inflammation, musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular disease, or other systems, you’ll find robust hits in one or more of our diverse, sizable collection of compound libraries:

  • Diversity compound library (552,000)
  • Lead-like compound library (153,000)
  • Natural Product Inspired (25,000)
  • Fragment Screening Set (2,500)
  • Pharmacological Set (7,900)
  • SoftFocus Set (41,000)

HTS Assay Flexibility

When you outsource your high-throughput screening for drug discovery to our seasoned team, you benefit from our scientists’ deep experience with the most challenging targets and assay systems, including your own. Supporting assay transfer, our HTS screening platform allows us to screen client libraries irrespective of size, frequently conducting screens of approximately 1 million compounds or more as single compound per well. We can also store a copy of your library for multiple screening campaigns.

Hit Discovery Results

Our robust quality management system (QMS) and assay validation procedures generate high quality data processed through IDBS, Titian, and Dotmatics software suites to ensure the accurate and confidential transfer of your high-throughput screening data.


The structure of atoms is the basis for the artificial intelligence assessment of difficult, intractable, and atypical targets such as protein-protein interactions and protein ligand interactions during hit id and hit finding using services from Charles River and Atomwise AtomNet.

Artificial Intelligence in Hit Finding

Are you having trouble successfully assessing difficult targets like protein-protein interactions (PPIs) or modulating the function of target proteins?
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Hit Expansion

Maximize your high-throughput screening investment. Enlarge your pool of active compounds and gain early structure-activity relationship (SAR) data with our cost-effective hit expansion service, including computational methodologies and AI.

By examining chemical motifs and scaffolds found to have activity in the primary high-throughput screening, we can mine our extensive compound collection and select sets of related compounds for follow-on screening. This helps to rapidly identify additional hits and new scaffolds as well as to build SAR around existing hits. These additional compound sets are identified using 2D and 3D similarity and pharmacophore searching.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about High-Throughput Screening Services

  • What compound libraries does Charles River use for high-throughput screening studies?

    Charles River has several exclusive libraries, including a diversity compound library, lead-like compound library, screening set, and libraries available to our clients for HTS. We also have natural product libraries and repurposed libraries that our scientists can use to optimize your project. We offer phenotypic screening, cellular assays, biochemical assays, and virtual screening services for hit identification.

  • What is the process for compound selection for high-throughput screening studies?

    Charles River has flexibility in the choice of compounds for screening including entire libraries, cherry-picking from the diversity library, and computation selection of screening plates. Scientific teams like our computer-aided drug design (CADD) group offer guidance, cheminformatics, and computational virtual screening services in the selection of compounds for high-throughput screening.

  • What is high-throughput mass spectrometry?

    High-throughput mass spectrometry (HTMS) can be applied in screening and is a process whereby eliminating artifacts introduced by fluorescent tags, label-free biochemical and cell-based screens generate rich, multi-parametric data that is highly reproducible and accurate.

    Charles River offers HTMS for high-throughput screening such as phenotypic screening on high-capacity equipment paired with the added flexibility of column chromatography.

  • What is high-throughput screening?

    High-throughput screening (HTS) is a process of testing a large number of compounds, typically multiple tens of thousands of compounds, in a short period of time to identify those compounds that modulate the activity of the biological target. These compounds are called hits. Typical screening projects include a workflow of assay development or assay transfer, compound selection pilot screen, primary screen, hit confirmation, potency determination and move on to hit expansion, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization studies.