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Automating High-Throughput RT-qPCR Analysis for RNA Drug Discovery

SLAS2021 Digital
January 24, 2021

Developing RNA-targeted drugs holds the promise for a dramatic increase in therapeutically addressable biological processes that are far beyond the reach of protein-targeted drugs, such as pre-mRNA splicing or modulation of gene expression by noncoding RNAs.

Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) is a recent, scalable technique for small molecule screening, allowing determination of up- or down-regulation of gene expression induced by a molecule under test. Evotec has developed accelerated experimental and data analysis workflows that allow RT-qPCR assays to be run at the scale of HTS.

In conjunction with the process automation, we present here a highly scalable and highly automated data analysis workflow. We show how it can be used for the rapid characterization of large sets of molecules by induced expression changes, identification of cytotoxic compounds, and in-vitro estimation of therapeutic windows from shifts in concentration-response curves. 

This workflow has been implemented in Genedata Screener®. It enables Evotec to streamline data processing from such experiments by a seamless integration with standard HTS data analysis processes—starting from compound logistics to one-click reporting of final results, significantly contributing to shortened cycle time. 

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