HOPKINTON, Mass., Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CALP), a leading provider of tools and services for drug discovery and life sciences research, today announced that its Caliper Discovery Alliances and Services (CDAS) unit has launched a new services offering based on a panel of cellular assays that measure the effects of drug candidates on functional activity of proteins called kinases involved in critical cell-signaling pathways. The technology platform and initial panel of nine assays were developed in collaboration with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). The new offering, called In-Cell KinaseScreen ™, is immediately available for compound screening, profiling, and custom assay development services for CDAS' clients, ranging from academia to pharmaceutical companies.
The collaboration between Caliper and Pfizer is focused on developing cellular methods to measure the ability of a compound to inhibit kinase activity. Nine different kinase assays through this collaboration have been developed thus far. The assays can be used early in the drug discovery process to assess compound selectivity, as well as the potential for off-target effects, or unintended inhibition of kinase-controlled pathways other than those against which the drugs were directed. This is important to developing safer drug candidates and reducing late-stage drug attrition. One application of these assays is in the area of oncology, for example, where kinase inhibitors have been used for treating a variety of cancers. These drugs have led to breakthroughs for treating many cancers; however, wider use of such drugs has exposed the potential for serious side effects due to "off-target" activities. Assays that measure kinase functional activity in key pathways in a physiologically relevant cellular context enable oncology researchers, as well as researchers in other therapeutic areas, to better identify compounds that maximize drug target selectivity and minimize potential side effects.