Robots, sound waves, and software: How AZ is beefing up tech at its UK R&D hub
- The AstraZeneca (AZ) MRC UK Centre for Lead Discovery, based in Cambridge, is being designed to provide researchers with cutting-edge high-tech resources, including robotics and sound-wave technology. AZ negotiated deals with three companies to bring in these technologies.
- The deal with HighRes Biosolutions has received the most attention. The company will collaborate on robotics development for the facility.
- As the overall goal of the facility is to undertake large-scale compound screening, AZ wants to bring the most advanced technology in to maximize outcomes.
Earlier this week, AZ and Sanofi agreed to a large compound exchange including 210,000 compounds from each company's compound library. AZ hopes to use large scale compound-screening projects to generate leads and drive drug development.
The three deals announced bring in an array of new capabilities for AZ's facility. The researchers will be able to interact directly with the robots, improving efficiency. In addition, the installation of sound-wave technology allows for hands-free dispensing of compounds onto well plates.
AZ's strategy for its new facility appears centered on leveraging the latest technological resources and building relationships with innovative technology companies.