Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a rare adverse drug reaction resulting in liver injury, and a cause of failure in both clinical and post-approval stages of drug development. Predictive the toxicity of new chemicals entities (NCE) is a key challenge to the pharmaceutical industry (FDA, 2009). In order to avoid the use of laboratory animals, and to reduce the cost of pre clinical studies, in vitro toxicology combined the use of cellular models with the measurements of several cell health endpoints in order to predict the hepatotoxicity of NCE. Primary Human Hepatocytes and heptocyte-like cell lines such as HepaRG, Upcytes and HepG2 are commonly used in NCE safety assessment. However, standard cellular assays have shown their limitation to specifically predict DILI potential of NCE (Sison-Young et al., 2017). The era of high content analysis, and especially phenotypic screening, bring new strategy for toxicologist to predict DILIs and their underlying mechanisms, and provides an effective means to reduce drug development failures due to insufficient safety (Xu, 2015).

HCS Pharma is daily developing new cellular assay based on phenotype characterization for toxicology. See our website for more information and feel free to contact us !


I was present at the last congress ELRIGfr in Brussels. It was a strong exchange place with interesting presentations around robotics. It is always really interesting to see examples of innovative automation which give really robust results. For example, Frank Gudermann from university of Bielefield in Germany showed that automation of culture cell with cell count by holographic picture gives more robust results as manual count by trypan blue. Or automation of PK sampling with nanoliter by using echo technology allows increasing throughput of bioanalytical analysis for PK studies in Hoffmann La Roche. Also, another presentation of IGR has shown a complete robotic platform with 4 imagers (Micro from MDS) and 1 FACS totally automated from cell seeding to staining and reading.

It was a great pleasure also for us to present 4 different posters on our few last month works in cell imaging. This work was done in collaboration with Perkin Elmer on the Operetta machine. This machine allows us to take images in a 3D culture as shown in these posters: neuroprotection model for parkinson disease and oncology and performed also really nice images showed in these other posters: hepatotoxicity assay and genotoxicity assays.

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