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EPFL to Validate Cellectricon's Cellaxess-HT Electroporation System for RNAi Screening

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Cellectricon said this week that it has tapped the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland to evaluate its next-generation high-throughput electroporation system, the Cellaxess-HT, which the company claims is the first such system to be designed for genome-wide RNAi screening.
 
The company also said that the Cellaxess-HT, which it plans to launch in the second quarter of next year, will be the only fully automated, robotic system on the market that allows for the high-throughput electroporation of cells in culture directly in 384-well microplates.
 
According to Cellectricon CEO Mattias Karlsson, the Cellaxess-HT system can screen 50,000 wells per day. Amaxa’s Nucleofector technology, on the other hand, has a throughput of up to 1,000 wells per day in its 96-well Shuttle system.
 
Karlsson told CBA News this week that the company is targeting genome-wide RNAi screening as the “initial application” for the platform, with potential future applications in the areas of cDNA screening and intracellular target screening.
 
Cellectricon already has two lower-throughput versions of the Cellaxess system, the CX1 and CX3, on the market. The systems were launched in December 2005.
 

The development of Cellaxess-HT was done “in very close collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.”

The CX1 is a one-channel system for direct transfection in tissue slices and selected cell regions in cultures, and the CX3 is a three-channel system for transfection in 96-well plates or Petri dishes. Karlsson said that both systems are manual systems that are appropriate for small-scale, basic research applications.

 
The Cellaxess-HT will be more appropriate for pharmaceutical and biotech companies, said Karlsson. It is intended for use with an integrated system where core screening is the focus and very high throughput is required
 
“We are collaborating with EPFL on validating the Cellaxess-HT system for RNAi screening applications because we do not have the appropriate screening infrastructure in-house,” Karlsson said. He said that beta testing for the system has already been completed, though he declined to comment on the identity of the beta-testers other than to note that the development of Cellaxess-HT was done “in very close collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.”
 
EPFL did not respond to requests for comment before the CBA News deadline.

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