Cell-Based Assays
21 November - 22 November 2011
Cell-Based Assays

What is this event about?



About the conference:

Now that the majority of screening assays employ the use of cell-based technologies, robust cell-based assays are essential for lead identification and the optimization of therapeutic candidates.

Factors including the ever-increasing numbers of compound failures and rapidly escalating costs of R&D are driving the uptake of increasingly biologically relevant surrogates in cell-based assays to predict the response of drug candidates; leading to developments in areas including stem cell use in screening programmes, 3D cell cultures and label-free detection.

These technologies, and the effective techniques and methods employed in their use have been progressing at breakneck speed and this conference will assemble leading experts from both industry and academia to present you with the latest updates, technologies and critical strategies in a practical, case-study focused environment.

Cell-Based Assays is the place for senior scientists from assay development, pharmacology, screening and related fields to meet and discuss progress in the area and exchange ideas moving forward. A dual focus on both strategic and regulatory concerns, alongside more specific scientific and technical analysis, supported with extensive case studies, ensures a truly comprehensive treatment of the most important issues.    

The event will consist of a two-day conference and a post-conference workshop, with a focus on a range of topics relating to the challenges facing those involved in using and developing cell-based assays and their importance to the strategic future of R&D in pharma.


Why not attend the associated workshop as well?

Associated with the conference there will be a one day workshop taking place on 23rd November

Led by leaders in their field, our workshops are an excellent opportunity to explore in a more intimate and interactive setting issues which will be discussed at the conference. 

Fancy speaking at the conference?  Do you know of anyone who may be interested in speaking?  We are always on the look-out for new speakers for our upcoming conferences.  Let us know - contact the Producer.

For sponsorship and exhibitioning opportunities, contact our Sponsorship Department.


 How you will benefit


  • Hear about new techniques, technologies and methods used in cell-based assays
  • Discuss the use of stem cells in discovery and development
  • Explore the powers of RNAi screening in target discovery and biomarker identification
  • Learn from multiple case studies demonstrating real life data and processes that work
  • Network with key industry associates and solution providers to share valuable experiences


Sponsored by:

BD BiosciencesCYTOO Cell ArchitectsReinnervate  Roche Applied Science

Conference agenda



Registration & Coffee



Chairman's Opening Remarks

Peter B Simpson

Peter B Simpson, Director of Screening Sciences & Compound Management, AstraZeneca



Chairman's introduction to the panel

Peter B Simpson

Peter B Simpson, Director of Screening Sciences & Compound Management, AstraZeneca



Panel discussion: How can the industry best move forward with the development and approval of new assay techniques?

  • How can we ensure the long-term stability of pharmaceutical R&D for the benefit of the industry and society?
  • What technologies must be adopted, adapted and developed in order to improve the drug discovery and validation process?
  • How can such developments be fostered?
  • What areas of current technology are most promising for the future?
  • Steve Ludbrook

    Steve Ludbrook, Section Head, GlaxoSmithKline

    Simon T Barry

    Simon T Barry, Associate Director, Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca

    Corinne Ploix

    Corinne Ploix, Head of Assay Development and Qualification Immunosafety, Hoffmann-La Roche

    Firas Bassissi

    Firas Bassissi, Senior Scientist DMPK & Lab Head, Abbott

    Pamela Tranter

    Pamela Tranter, Group Head, Automated Electrophysiology, Novartis Horsham Research Centre



    Case study: Enabling routine 3D cell culture for disease modelling, toxicity screening and safety testing

    Stefan Przyborski

    Stefan Przyborski, Founder and CSO / Professor of Cell Technology, Reinnervate / University of Durham

  • What is 3D cell/tissue culture?  Why is 3D better than 2D?
  • Design attributes of alvetex that enables genuine 3D cell growth in vitro
  • Functionality and optimization of alvetex to support routine 3D cell culture
  • Exemplification of alvetex in key applications including liver, skin and stem cells
  • clock


    Morning Refreshments



    Case Study: Use of primary Cell Assays to improve translation of molecules and targets to the clinic

    Steve Ludbrook

    Steve Ludbrook, Section Head, GlaxoSmithKline

  • The greater use of primary cells in the drug discovery continuum from target identification to candidate selection should reduce programme attrition and lead to a better flow of medicines to patients
  • Improved sample availability and preparation has increased the opportunity for such samples to positively impact in the drug discovery process
  • Technology improvements around increased sensitivity, throughput, or enabling methodologies generate the ability for primary cell systems to become  the standard profiling approach
  • Case studies on technology and programme solutions
  • clock


    Case Study: The utility of complex cell-based assays in cancer drug discovery

    Simon T Barry

    Simon T Barry, Associate Director, Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca

  • Development of cancer therapeutics is challenging due to the complexity of disease, with the chance of delivering clinical benefit being higher in selected patient populations
  • A range of in vitro and in vivo assays are used to prioritize the right compounds and target the right patients, and have helped improve success
  • The complexity of tumour biology is largely modelled using in vivo models.  Being able to investigate different aspects of tumour cell biology in vitro, and learning about the effect of cell-cell cross talk on drugs efficacy can improve selection of the right molecules
  • Discussing how translatable are these assays, the limitations and areas for future development
  • clock


    Q&A and discussion session

    Steve Ludbrook

    Steve Ludbrook, Section Head, GlaxoSmithKline

    Simon T Barry

    Simon T Barry, Associate Director, Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca



    High throughput flow cytometry advances primary cells to earlier stages of therapeutic discovery

    Nathan  Bays

    Nathan Bays, Research Fellow and Team Lead, High Throughput Flow Cytometry and Cell Biology, Merck & Company

  • The need for higher throughput in primary and stem cell screening
  • Challenges in primary cell isolation, handling and automation
  • Challenges in data acquisition and analysis
  • Examples of impact on therapeutic discovery: translating activity from purified enzyme to human whole blood
  • clock


    Networking Lunch



    High content analysis: multi-assay tool in drug discovery

    Rodolphe Hajj

    Rodolphe Hajj, Division of Molecular Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, Servier Research Institute, France, BD Biosciences - Cell Analysis

  • High Content analysis (HCA)
  • Cell imaging by HCA
  • Assay development for different research areas using HCA
  • HCA as a multi-research tool
  • clock


    Delivery of robust cell screens that enable successful oncology drug project progression

    Peter B Simpson

    Peter B Simpson, Director of Screening Sciences & Compound Management, AstraZeneca

  • Cell imaging-based primary screening identifies hits that are progressable through into lead optimization and beyond
  • Innovative cell imaging assay design which has enabled successful lead-finding for targets which otherwise appear un-druggable
  • Practical aspects of ensuring SAR screening using diverse assay platforms meets our rigorous standards of data quality and consistency, so that project teams make correct decisions on how to progress and optimize lead series
  • clock


    Anthraquinone counterstaining; from basic object identification to assay acceleration and unbiased toxicity prediction in target and phenotypic cell-based assays

    Roy Edward

    Roy Edward, Sales & Marketing Director, Biostatus Ltd

  • Reducing screening times
  • Robust and informative nucl:cyto segmentation
  • Early in vitro toxicity indications
  • DNA content analysis
  • clock


    Afternoon Tea



    Imaging-based assays for invasion of metastatic cells in vitro

    Daniel Zicha

    Daniel Zicha, Head of Light Microscopy, Cancer Research UK

  • Utilizing 3D in vitro assays to complement 2D tissue culture approaches
  • Automatic image processing
  • Examining the potential for screening
  • clock


    3D Cell based assay to uncover signaling pathways involved in CAFs-dependent matrix remodeling and

    Cedric Gaggioli

    Cedric Gaggioli, Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow, INSERM U634

  • Carcinoma Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs) can lead collective carcinoma cells invasion by extracellular matrix remodeling and tracks formation through actomyosin-dependent force generation
  • Using chemical compounds screening assay based on 3D matrix remodeling by CAFs, we identified Janus Kinase (JAK) signaling pathway as a regulator of actomyosin contractility and matrix remodeling by stroma cells
  • Using a 3D organotypic invasion assay, we further demonstrated that JAK1/STAT3 and Rho/ROCK CAFs-dependent signaling co-operate to promote collective cancer cell invasion
  • Validating an original approach to screen in 3D for compounds that could interfere with stroma cells during tumor cancer cell invasion and permissive microenvironment progression
  • clock


    Developing a live image-based platform for chemical screens on glioma novel adherent neural stem cells derived from brain tumours

    Davide Danovi

    Davide Danovi, Research Associate, Cancer Unit, University College London Medical School

  • Derivation of neural stem cells in adherent conditions from normal or brain tumour samples
  • Development of a high-content image-based platform for chemical screens on patients-derived cells
  • Automated analysis of brightphase images and end-point assays to assess self-renewal and differentiation
  • Isolation of compounds targeting specific sub-types of disease to improve early clinical trials stratification
  • clock


    Chairmans Closing Remarks



    Close of Day One



    Registration & Coffee



    Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Corinne Ploix

    Corinne Ploix, Head of Assay Development and Qualification Immunosafety, Hoffmann-La Roche



    Multiplexed Reporter Gene Assays

    Marie-Cecile Didiot

    Marie-Cecile Didiot, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

  • How can we capture as much information about the underlying biology of the assay as possible? Explaining the increasing use of assays with multiple readouts in high -throughput screening
  • How a relatively simple extension of the standard luciferase reporter gene assay can allow different assay parameters to be monitored from one assay well
  • Enabling the identification of non-active compounds, unspecific compounds that act by inhibiting luciferase, as well as compounds altering gene expression and to monitor real-time compound effect.
  • How the development of novel luciferase reporter gene constructs, that emit light at different wavelengths, also allows multiplexing of reporter gene assays with only a single addition of substrate from a single assay well
  • Furthering multiplex luciferase reporter gene assays to include an orthogonal assay monitoring cell viability, following compound exposure using measurement of resazurin reduction
  • Examining how we can simultaneously monitor three different assay parameters from one assay well
  • clock


    Genetic reporter assays in the area of tissue engineering of bone

    Katharina Maniura

    Katharina Maniura, Co-Head, Laboratory for Materials-Biology Interactions, Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology

  • Stem cell and bone progenitor cell assays
  • Allowing the online monitoring of cellular processes such as differentiation in cells on biomaterials/scaffolds
  • High-throughput screening of bone formation-promoting pharmaceutical substances
  • clock


    Challenges of validating cell based assays for vaccine development

    Stefan Kostense

    Stefan Kostense, Director, Clinical Assays, Crucell

  • Selecting adequate guidelines for vaccine potency assays
  • Selecting the right assays reflecting the mode of action or correlate of protection
  • How to obtain reference materials and critical assay reagents
  • Handling and shipping of viable T cell samples
  • clock


    Morning Refreshments



    Towards highly standardized cell-based assays: the power of cell normalization

    Alexandra Fuchs

    Alexandra Fuchs, COO, Cytoo S.A.

  • Micropatterned cells vs conventional cell culture: restoring spatial information
  • Single-cell polarizing micropatterns for cell normalization
  • Deciphering cell function via control of cell architecture: a panel of applications
  • Reference Cell™ concept for standardized HCA assays
  • Case study: highly sensitive cytoskeleton assay with less than 50 analyzed cells
  • clock


    Case Study: Using anti-cytokine antibodies; assessing monoclonal antibody potency using real time, impedance-based bioassays

    Laura DeForge

    Laura DeForge, Senior Scientist, Assay & Automation Technology, Genentech

  • Advantages and drawbacks of impedance-based assays
  • Specific requirements for therapeutic antibody potency assays
  • Consistency of impedance results between experiments and across cell lines
  • Correlation of results with an established reporter gene assay
  • clock


    Membrane drug transporters assessment in hepatocyte models including HepaRG cell line

    Firas Bassissi

    Firas Bassissi, Senior Scientist DMPK & Lab Head, Abbott

  • Role of membrane transporters in drug absorption, distribution and elimination
  • Relevant uptake and efflux transporters in drug-drug interaction
  • Available in vitro tools to study drug transporters including hepatocytes
  • Assessment of expression and function of main transporters in primary human hepatocytes and HepaRG
  • What hepatocyte model is most suitable to assess drug interaction with transporters?
  • clock


    Networking Lunch



    Assessing stem cell lines as tools to improve in vitro toxicity models of different tissue types

    Glyn Stacey

    Glyn Stacey, Director of the UK Stem Cell Bank, National Institute For Biological Standards And Control

  • Exploring the Impact of stem lines vs. tissue in improving assay models
  • Examining applications, implementation issues and solutions
  • An overview of co-ordinated research initiatives in the field
  • What does the future hold? Summary of progress
  • clock


    Developments in automated ion channel assay technologies

    Pamela Tranter

    Pamela Tranter, Group Head, Automated Electrophysiology, Novartis Horsham Research Centre

  • Assessment of emerging measurement technologies
  • Profiling of novel ion channel targets
  • Key challenges for  ion channel screening using automated screening platforms
  • clock


    Strategic choices for ion channel research

    Andrew Southan

    Andrew Southan, Head, Ion Channel Pharmacology, BioFocus Plc

  • Microfluidics-based electrophysiology
  • Electroporation-based transient transfection
  • Impact on data quality and timelines
  • clock


    Afternoon Tea



    Case Study: Novel human cell-based assays for pre-clinical immunosafety evaluation of drug candidates

    Corinne Ploix

    Corinne Ploix, Head of Assay Development and Qualification Immunosafety, Hoffmann-La Roche

  • Overview of complement-related side effects of marketed drugs
  • Exploration of potential activation of the complement cascade (innate immunity) and limitations of preclinical animal models
  • Technical challenges of developing an assay as a cell-containing matrix and not simply a serum (e.g. anticoagulant selection, kinetics)
  • Case study
  • clock


    Profiling kinase inhibitors using a cell-based tyrosine kinase assay panel

    Brigitte Boldyreff

    Brigitte Boldyreff, European Agent, Carna Biosciences

  • Ba/F3 cells as a tool
  • Assay principles and methods
  • Studies using clinically approved kinase inhibitors
  • Comparison with activity based profiling
  • clock


    Label-free detection of cell activation and cell adhesion: how to use real time electrical impedance sensing for cell physiology

    Anker Jon Hansen

    Anker Jon Hansen, Principal Scientist, Novo Nordisk

  • Immune cell adhesion   
  • Adhesion and activation 
  • T-cell activation 
  • Neutrophil activation
  • Adhesion and integrin function
  • clock


    Chairman’s Closing Remarks



    Close of Conference


    Ion Channel Drug Discovery in the 21st Century

    Ion Channel Drug Discovery in the 21st Century

    Marriott Regents Park
    23 November 2011
    London, United Kingdom

    Marriott Hotel Regents Park

    128 King Henry’s Road
    London NW3 3ST
    United Kingdom

    Marriott Hotel Regents Park

    This 4 star north London hotel in zone 2 is the perfect destination for the astute business traveler as well as the leisure guest that knows how convenient north London hotels are, as a base from which to explore the city .Bond Street is just 3 stops from Swiss Cottage underground station on the Jubilee Line, so you can be shopping, exploring the sights and taking in one of London’s world-renowned West End shows in less than 15 minutes when you stay at this hotel near central London. At the same time, the hive of activity that is Camden Town, the chic shops, cafes and restaurants of Primrose Hill and ZSL’s London Zoo in Regents Park are all just a short walk from this hotel in north London.


    speaker image












    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

    ‘A commitment to structured skills and knowledge enhancement for Personal or Professional competence’

    CPD is a common requirement of individual membership with professional bodies and Institutes. Increasingly, employers also expect their staff to undertake regular CPD activities.

    Undertaken over a period of time, CPD ensures that educational qualifications do not become obsolete, and allows for best practice and professional standards to be upheld.

    CPD can be undertaken through a variety of learning activities including instructor led training courses, seminars and conferences, e:learning modules or structured reading.


    There are approximately 470 institutes in the UK across all industry sectors, with a collective membership of circa 4 million professionals, and they all expect their members to undertake CPD.

    For some institutes undertaking CPD is mandatory e.g. accountancy and law, and linked to a licence to practice, for others it’s obligatory. By ensuring that their members undertake CPD, the professional bodies seek to ensure that professional standards, legislative awareness and ethical practices are maintained.

    CPD Schemes often run over the period of a year and the institutes generally provide online tools for their members to record and reflect on their CPD activities.


    Professional bodies and Institutes CPD schemes are either structured as ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ based.

    ‘Input’ based schemes list a precise number of CPD hours that individuals must achieve within a given time period. These schemes can also use different ‘currencies’ such as points, merits, units or credits, where an individual must accumulate the number required. These currencies are usually based on time i.e. 1 CPD point = 1 hour of learning.

    ‘Output’ based schemes are learner centred. They require individuals to set learning goals that align to professional competencies, or personal development objectives. These schemes also list different ways to achieve the learning goals e.g. training courses, seminars or e:learning, which enables an individual to complete their CPD through their preferred mode of learning.

    The majority of Input and Output based schemes actively encourage individuals to seek appropriate CPD activities independently.

    As a formal provider of CPD certified activities, SAE Media Group can provide an indication of the learning benefit gained and the typical completion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the delegate to evaluate their learning, and record it correctly in line with their professional body’s or employers requirements.


    Increasingly, international and emerging markets are ‘professionalising’ their workforces and looking to the UK to benchmark educational standards. The undertaking of CPD is now increasingly expected of any individual employed within today’s global marketplace.

    CPD Certificates

    We can provide a certificate for all our accredited events. To request a CPD certificate for a conference , workshop, master classes you have attended please email events@saemediagroup.com

    Event Title


    Read More

    I would like to speak at an event

    I would like to attend an event

    I would like to sponsor/exhibit at an event


    Contact SAE Media Group

    UK Office
    Opening Hours: 9.00 - 17.30 (local time)
    SAE Media Group , Ground Floor, India House, 45 Curlew Street, London, SE1 2ND, United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7827 6000 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7827 6001
    Website: http://www.smgconferences.com Email: events@saemediagroup.com
    Registered in England - SMi Group Ltd trading as SAE Media Group

    Forgotten Password

    Please enter the email address you registered with. We will email you a new password.

    Thank you for visiting our event

    If you would like to receive further information about our events, please fill out the information below.

    By ticking above you are consenting to receive information by email from SAE Media Group.
    Full details of our privacy policy can be found here https://www.smgconferences.com/privacy-legals/privacy-policy/.
    Should you wish to update your contact preferences at any time you can contact us at data@smgconferences.com.
    Should you wish to be removed from any future mailing lists please click on the following link http://www.smgconferences.com/opt-out

    Fill in your details to download the brochure

    By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy and consent to receiving communications, you may opt out at any time.