Mass spectrometry, which was until recently a complicated technology available exclusively to highly trained experts, is today a workhorse analytical technique for a wide variety of scientific applications including basic research, drug discovery and development, food and environmental contamination testing and forensic analysis.
The development of this powerful technology into an accessible platform for scientists across disciplines will be the focus for Applied Biosystems (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation business, and its joint venture partner, MDS Analytical Technologies, a division of MDS Inc. (NYSE:MDZ)(TSX:MDS), during the 56th annual American Society of Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) conference in Denver, May 31-June 3. The ASMS conference draws scientists in a variety of fields from around the globe each year to present and learn about the newest developments in mass spectrometry. Throughout the conference, Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies will showcase new integrated software applications, as well as methods and chemistry reagents that provide greater productivity through its world-class mass spectrometry-based solutions.
Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies scientists and collaborators will deliver more than 70 presentations highlighting recent and ongoing research enabled by their technology platforms. These presentations will exemplify how newly released software applications and chemical reagents deliver complete, integrated workflows for applications ranging from the discovery, validation and verification of biomarkers to drug metabolism studies to the detection and measurement of environmental contaminants.
For example, Ethan Badman, Ph.D., a principal scientist at Hoffman-La Roche, Nutley, NJ, a leading global healthcare company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, will discuss the theory behind matrix factors, a quantitative measure for matrix effects in biological samples. Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies has developed a new, automated method for its instruments that allows a one-touch approach to determining the matrix factor. Matrix factors are now suggested to be calculated for mass spectrometry-based bioanalytical assays, according to the 3rd Crystal City Bioanalytical conference report.(1) Calculation of matrix factors provides a clear understanding of the matrix effects in bioanalytical assays.
"The procedure developed by Applied Biosystems essentially lets us open a template, click, and get the matrix factors we need," says Dr. Badman. "It is much easier because it is all automated, compared to calculating matrix factors manually. The fact that the algorithm is built-in reduces calculation errors."
Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies will be hosting a variety of events as part of its program focused on complete productivity solutions, including a proteomics luncheon workshop on Monday. Christie Hunter, Ph.D., a senior staff scientist at Applied Biosystems, will review how the joint venture's integration of hardware, software, and reagents can be used to reproducibly quantitate hundreds of proteins for targeted proteomics applications, including biomarker studies. This extends the targeted proteomics approach, which is being called the fourth generation of proteomics by thought leaders.
Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies will also host a workshop on Tuesday focused on the powerful combination of triple quadrupole and ion trap technology as a single platform. Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies' QTRAP® system is the only platform available that can seamlessly integrate quantitative and qualitative analysis in a single experiment. On Wednesday, there will be an additional workshop that will concentrate on the value of integrated services for validation and remote system monitoring for regulated laboratories. This workshop will provide an overview of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's latest thinking and trends for laboratory compliance, and highlight the availability of an expanded suite of Smart Monitoring and Compliance services from Applied Biosystems Global Services. These include: Installation Qualification/Operation Qualification (IQ/OQ), Operation Qualification/Instrument
Performance Verification (OQ/IP), and Software Validation.
"The emphasis of the Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies joint venture continues to be on developing complete workflows that enable scientists to take full advantage of the power of our systems, and maximize the amount of information they derive from each experiment," said Laura Lauman, president for Applied Biosystems' proteomics and small molecules division. "This delivers the ability to advance knowledge and understanding, whether it is helping pharmaceutical customers develop new and better medicines, those in academic research to continue to understand the complexities of biology, or helping testing agencies to ensure the safety of our food and water."
OTHER ASMS HIGHLIGHTS:
Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies' expanded suite of powerful mass spectrometry software and solutions to increase scientific productivity will be on display in Booth #137 at the Denver Convention Center and at the Denver Sheraton Hotel in Grand Ballroom 1. These include:
- iMethodTM Tests for Cliquid® Software; These are downloadable methods announced earlier this year that enable users of Cliquid Software instant access to customizable turnkey solutions for routine food and beverage testing. The methodsdownload from an application microsite onto their PCs for easy upload directly into Cliquid Software.
- mTRAQTM Reagents; These are proprietary chemistry kits being introduced that provide a global reference standard for every protein in a simple one-step procedure for proteomics studies and enable reproducible biomarker verification and targeted quantitative proteomics.
- Analyst® 1.5 Software; This is the updated operating system for Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies' mass spectrometry systems, which incorporates new methods and workflows for increased productivity.
- Biocrates AbsoluteIDQTM Kits; These are reagent kits for targeted metabolomics studies to identify and quantify over 150 metabolites across four different metabolite classes from a small (10 microliter) plasma sample in only minutes per sample. The kits are being co-marketed with Biocrates and are optimized for Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies triple quadrupole and QTRAP instrument series.
- DiscoveryQuantTM Software; This is an application for Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies instrument systems that improves the speed and efficiency of drug candidate analysis for high-throughput early ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) studies, which are a critical part of the screening process in drug discovery that pharmaceutical companies use to determine the viability of drug candidates.
- TissueViewTM Software; This is an application package announced in March that enables drug and small molecule imaging in biological tissues for spacial distribution studies. It is designed to improve mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) by making data processing more intuitive and delivering easier-to-interpret research results for deeper understanding of how drugs and proteins are distributed within biological tissue.
- LightSightTM Software Version 2.0; This application package contains automated method creation for metabolite identification with Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies' triple quadrupole and QTRAP mass spectrometry systems. LightSight 2.0 software is designed to enable pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations to more quickly and accurately screen drug candidates.
- Smart Monitoring Services; This is one of several offerings from Applied Biosystems Global Services intended to optimize the performance and reliability of installed instrument systems. Available for the full line of Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies' mass spectrometry instrument systems, Smart Services remotely and proactively track critical system parameters over the Internet and identify potential instrument problems before they affect laboratory efficiency.
"The breadth of results-generated presentations and workshops at ASMS demonstrates the level of innovative solutions from the Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies' joint venture," said Andy Boorn, president of MDS Analytical Technologies. "This alliance of new platforms, new software, and new workflows will continue to help our customers advance their science well into the future."
Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies Annual Users Meeting
The Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies joint venture has a more than 20-year history of innovation in mass spectrometry. Its annual users meeting will also be taking place in conjunction with the ASMS conference. Scheduled for Sunday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hyatt Denver Convention Center Ballroom, the meeting is expected to be attended by approximately 750 Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies mass spectrometry customers. This year's meeting focuses on the joint venture's continued innovations aimed at helping to advance technologies for scientists conducting research in areas including drug discovery and development, protein biomarker discovery and validation, metabolomics, food safety testing, forensic toxicology, environmental analysis, and clinical research.
About Applera Corporation and Applied Biosystems
Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. Applied Biosystems serves the life science industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. Applied Biosystems' products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science research, which we refer to as "applied markets," such as the fields of: human identity testing (forensic and paternity testing); biosecurity, which refers to products needed in response to the threat of biological terrorism and other malicious, accidental, and natural biological dangers; and quality and safety testing, such as testing required for food and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of approximately $2.1 billion during fiscal 2007. The Celera Group is a diagnostics business delivering personalized disease management through a combination of products and services incorporating proprietary discoveries. Berkeley HeartLab, a subsidiary of Celera, offers services to predict cardiovascular disease risk and optimize patient management. Celera also commercializes a wide range of molecular diagnostic products through its strategic alliance with Abbott and has licensed other relevant diagnostic technologies developed to provide personalized disease management in cancer and liver diseases. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at http://www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923.
All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information unless required by law.
About MDS Analytical Technologies
MDS Analytical Technologies is a newly established MDS Inc. business unit and is a world-class organization comprised of two main lines of business. The Sciex product portfolio offers proven market leadership in mass spectrometry through its joint ventures with two of the world's leading analytical instrumentation and life sciences companies, Applied Biosystems, a business of Applera Corporation, and PerkinElmer Inc. Molecular Devices' product portfolio is the gold standard in highperformance bioanalytical measurement systems that accelerate and improve drug discovery and other life sciences research.
Applied Biosystems Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "should," "expect," and "planned," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Applera Corporation's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Applera Corporation notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include but are not limited to: (1) rapidly changing technology and dependence on the development and customer acceptance of new products; (2) sales dependent on customers' spending policies; and (3) other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.