To mark its 10th anniversary, Drug Discovery & Development magazine invited industry vendors to reflect on the history and made predictions about future of the industry. Featured here are verbatim comments from this company.
BioTek Instruments, Inc
USA, Germany, France, Singapore, China, India
Years in Drug Research
About the company
BioTek Instruments, Inc. is a global leader in the development, manufacture and sale of microplate instrumentation and software celebrating its 40th anniversary. Our instrumentation includes microplate detection, washing, dispensing, pipetting, automation and software along with support from our technical assistance center, applications laboratory, customer service, and a knowledgeable sales staff. Our company-wide commitment to high quality, consistent value and unwavering dedication to customer service contributes to our customers’ common goal of accelerating the discovery process. BioTek is ISO9001/ISO13485 Certified, an FDA Registered Medical Device Manufacturer, and has appropriate products in compliance with the EU In Vitro Diagnostic Directive (IV-D).
The company’s line of business as it was 10 years ago. Changes in life science/drug research that influenced business.
Ten years ago we focused on the growing academic and clinical markets by capitalizing on the increasing popularity of non-isotopic immunoassays through the supporting instrumentation and automation. Today, we continue to support these customers and have developed a world class suite of products and software to support the drug discovery process, HTS, contract research and biotechnology including proteomics and genomic research. We have developed new technologies to keep pace with advances in nanoliter sample volumes, higher density microplates, new detection technologies including homogeneous assays, HTRF, TR-FRET, FP, etc. and the automation to support many laboratory procedures.
Scientific challenges in the next 10 years.
Looking ahead, we see many challenges and opportunities in the Life Science/Drug Discovery space. The need to constantly innovate will the biggest competitive challenge we face. The trends we see that will guide these innovations include; miniaturization, and precision low-volume liquid handling, growth of cell based assays including High-Content Screening, label-free detection technologies and homogeneous assay technologies. Increased assay sensitivity and speed to results will be important. We continue hear from customers that request smaller footprint, multi-function instrumentation like our patent pending Hybrid Technology Microplate Reader and new EL406 combination washer/dispenser. These technologies provide more efficiency and productivity including the elimination of multiple plate robotic movements. Another trend is the movement to a smaller, more plug-and-play automated systems that can be easily reconfigured. We also see more outsourcing of service which opens up a new customer base in the contract lab area.
Factor(s) that drove the development of technologies during the last 10 years and greatest area of growths.
The factors that we have seen drive technologies is the move to higher density microplates, thus more low volume liquid handling, small sample size, homogeneous assay technologies and non-isotopic assays. These assays have driven the conversion from mostly absorbance-based detection to tremendous growth in fluorescence and luminescence based assays. The greatest growth for BioTek has come in the Multi-Mode Reader market by providing filter-based reading technology for increased sensitivity, monochromator-based reading technology for flexibility and a new Hybrid technology that offers both in the same product. With even larger potential, liquid handling and robotic work stations continue to grow. As always there is an underlying sensitivity to price.
Bold Prediction: Where will drug research technology be in 10 years?
In the future, drug research will be conducted with small, flexible automated systems using nanoliter samples and homogeneous assays quickly and for a reasonable cost. Additionally, more flexibility within instrument design will lead to more flexible and efficient assay development and experimental design. Lastly, we see the expansion of best of breed research being conducted globally.