Biologic Assay Development

Assay types and technologies

Assays in drug discovery fall into two main categories: biochemical assays and cell-based assays.

Biochemical assays are often the first type of assay used. Biochemical assays are valuable for evaluating and examining the target protein and identifying the compounds that possess the desired activity at the target. These assays:

  • Can be applied to enzyme or receptor targets
  • Are consistent and reliable
  • Are simpler than cell-based assays

Cell-based assays elucidate compound activity via a functional read-out of said activity. Cell-based assays often follow biochemical assays. These assays:

  • Can be applied to ion channels, nuclear receptors or membrane receptors
  • Report on the toxicity, efficacy and other properties of the hit compound
  • Are more complex than biochemical assays