Our Capabilities

Cellular Assay Development

The Cellular Assay Development team focuses on the cellular aspects of small molecule drug discovery. They design and implement biological studies that enable deeper exploration of therapeutic hypotheses and derivation of mechanistic insights on drug action. The team’s scientists are typically involved in preclinical discovery workflows from hit-to-lead, lead optimization, and finally preclinical development.


They have developed cell reporter assays and cytotoxic assays such as apoptosis, cell proliferation, soft agar colony formation and metabolic assays. By engineering cells to produce suitable markers for a particular pathway, the team is able to develop selectivity assays for identified hits and to probe the mechanisms of action. Examples of these assays are receptor binding, receptor activation, cell signaling, sub-cellular localisation as well as specific gene knockout and knockdown cells. Suitable biomarkers are also identified for use in the development of preclinical development candidates.

Different readout and detection format of assays such as luminescence, fluorescence and imaging are available which can be optimised and miniaturised for High Throughput Screening. The team can also develop assays to screen and select for specific and potent derivatives of hits in a panel of cancer cell lines and normal cells.


Compound screening, confirmation of hits in cell lines and supporting lead optimisation for drug discovery.


  • Bravo robotic liquid handler
  • Infinite M200Pro microplate reader with injector
  • FACSArray 96-well plate flow cytometer
  • xCelligence real-time cell analyzer
  • NanoPro 100 System for quantitative immunoassay
  • Gelcount tumour colony counter