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Germany: Electronic Pipettes Adjustable Tip Spacing Pipettes Streamlines Discovery of Venum-Based Drugs

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

In order to increase the production of venum-based screening assays, Venomtech is using the adjustable tip spacing pipettes from Integra.

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The adjustable tip spacing pipettes streamline the production of venom-based screening assays.
The adjustable tip spacing pipettes streamline the production of venom-based screening assays.
(Source: Integra)

Biebertal/Germany — The UK-based biotechnology company Venomtech is harnessing the power of natural venoms produced by animals to generate compound libraries that are used in drug discovery studies. With a collection of nearly 200 species, from spiders to scorpions and even centipedes to study, the team at is using Integra’s Voyager adjustable tip spacing pipette to increase efficiency in the production of venom-based screening assays. Venomtech's CSO Steve Trim explains that each species has a unique venom containing several hundred different components. The library of compounds available for using venom is therefore enormous. Compounds derived from these venoms not just driving the discovery of pain-relief and oncology drugs, but also being used in the development of antimicrobials, insecticides and even cosmetic products.

The company's core product is the Targeted-Venom Discovery Array (T-VDA), which include venoms from twelve species selected according to the target of interest. Each venom is fractionated by 2D HPLC, then standardized, plated out and freeze-dried in 384 well plates to create the compound library. The production process starts in 96 well stock plates, so the company needs to transfer to 384 well array plates. The ability to electronically adjust the tip spacing one-handed was a major part of the decision to choose the Voyager. Its precision, light weight and quiet motor-drive were key features in the purchasing decision, Trim says. The repeat dispensing function makes the process much faster while the serial dilution function helps create standards with different concentrations.

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