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AB Sciex, Univ. of Melbourne to Develop Mass Spec Approach for Metabolism Studies

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – AB Sciex today announced a collaboration with researchers at the University of Melbourne to develop standardized testing methodologies for the study of biopharmaceutical metabolism.

The project will be based on an approach developed by scientists at the university on the AB Sciex QTrap 5500 system to evaluate how protein-based drugs break down in vivo, something that drug discovery researchers currently cannot do.

Biopharmaceutical development is the fastest-growing area in the pharmaceutical market, the company said in a statement, and the approach being developed could help better determine the effectiveness and safety of peptide- and protein-based drugs.

"Providing this capability is critical for advancing drug metabolism studies of biopharmaceuticals," AB Sciex said, adding that regulatory requirements for assessing such therapeutics are expected to quickly evolve to require information about the drug's metabolism "and how it may affect overall elimination of the drug from the body."

The researchers at the university developed their approach on the QTrap 5500 system, but the method is being customized for use on the AB Sciex TripleTOF 5600 system. As part of the effort, the collaborators are developing a new workflow and software to centrally manage it.

"The technology we are developing with AB Sciex will give scientists the unique ability to produce metabolism profiles for peptide and protein drugs that the industry simply cannot do right now," said Anthony Purcell, associate professor, senior research fellow, and principal investigator in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology of the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Melbourne. "This is essential for advancing an increasing number of biopharma drugs to market."