Journal of biomolecular screening

Development and application of an automated solution stability assay for drug discovery.

PMID 16234336


Screening of solution stability provides an early alert on potential liabilities of drug candidates so that strategies can be developed to overcome the challenges. A fully automated solution stability assay has been developed to accelerate traditional manual operation. The assay uses the advanced capabilities of a high-performance liquid chromatography instrument that is present in many pharmaceutical research laboratories. The samples are prepared automatically by a temperature-controlled autosampler. The samples are delivered to the stability matrices, mixed, incubated, and injected at selected time points during the reaction time course. This automated process occurs without operator intervention, thus allowing 96 experiments to be run with 0.5 h of a scientist's time compared to 8 h for the same study when performed manually. Automation not only eliminates the manual operation but also improves accuracy and throughput. The assay protocol has been optimized to achieve homogenous mixing and eliminate carryover. The assay is robust, flexible, and high throughput. It can be used to study stability for a large number of samples under multiple incubation conditions and has a wide range of applications in drug discovery and development, such as screening compound stability in biological assay media, obtaining a stability-pH profile, surveying compound stability in physiological fluids, and performing development forced degradation and excipient compatibility.

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