Project: Distribution Of Robotics Assistants

The Life sciences industry, in particular biochemistry and molecular biology, is becoming increasingly competitive and involves a large amount of activities - from development to the execution of routine tests._x000D__x000D_Industries like agricolture, pharmaceutical development, food quality control, environmental testing, also start demanding an increasing amount of biochemical and molecular biology tests._x000D__x000D_The diagnostics Industry faces the challenge in dealing with the new frontiers of pharmacogenomics and the wealth of information provided by the genetic studies of populations._x000D__x000D_POPULATION GENETICS, through the ideas of his founder and Nobel Laureate Sidney Brenner, has developed novel and disruptive tests to study genes in whole populations but - simultaneously - being able to identify individuals within those populations. These tests imply very reproducible and complex liquid handling to be performed accurately._x000D__x000D_CEREP is one of the leading service providers for the european pharmaceutical industry: it has internally developed literally thousands of assays for the development of new drugs - and it has optimized protocols, procedures, reagent manufacturing and its internal logistics chain in order to reproducibly and promptly address the scientific questions posed by the development of new molecules in the pharmaceutical industry._x000D__x000D_ANDREW ALLIANCE is developing a novel anthropomorphic android, revoluzionizing the automation industry since it is a platform based on expert system capabilities and artificial intelligence. The Andrew Alliance androids will be capable of performing biochemical protocols without user intervention - with unprecedented flexibility, performances and cost. The androids can assist users even for low-throughput and occasional operations, like those required in research and development within the life sciences but also in distributed tests._x000D__x000D_ANDREW ALLIANCE, CEREP and POPULATION GENETICS propose a joint development program putting together their core know-how and IP to deliver a new product to the industry, that is potentially capable of complementing the paradigm of high throughput automation or external laboratory services. The product has a two-fold value: either a convenient OPEN PLATFORM for assay development in research laboratories, either a ready-to-use ACTIVE KIT to be deployed in those environments where the specific assay development and execution skills would not be available._x000D__x000D_The OPEN PLATFORM for assay development fills an unmet need within the industry: low throughput activities are done today manually, at a significant cost in relation with reproducibility and traceability. Musco-skeletal disorders are a frequent consequence of manual liquid handling, with impact on professional's health and reduced productivity. High throughput activities are done by expensive liquid handling workstations, which are not conveniently used for occasional or short processes._x000D__x000D_An ACTIVE KIT consists in a package of reagents, protocols and low-cost hardware. It is a self-educated platform, including supply of reagents and consumables, that is able to perform a large number of tests within the customer premises, minimizing the need of training and education of end users. Research laboratories but also other industries will exploit the advantages of a reduced assay development time, precise reproducibility, minimal training for the operator, high consistency, and embedded quality control. _x000D__x000D_The products require integrating the experience in instrumentation design, artificial intelligence and software from Andrew Alliance with the knowledge of assay development and quality control procedures within the life sciences industry that CEREP and PGT have in different doCOs. The combination of these skills has the potential of delivering an unprecedented product that will benefit research and development within the Life Science industry, and allow distribution of a broad variety of assays with complex biochemistry in neighbouring industrial fields.

Acronym DORA (Reference Number: 6482)
Duration 01/09/2011 - 01/05/2013
Project Topic The execution of routine liquid handling operations is a painful and delicate activity within the life sciences industry. Andrew Alliance plans to release novel androids in collaboration with CEREP and PGT, to be trained and validated in the field before commercialization.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
We demonstrated the machine's usability, reliability and robustness and its ability to achieve same results as operator in manual condition._x000D__x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 CEREP S.A. Partner France
3 Population Genetics Technologies Ltd. Partner United Kingdom
3 Andrew Alliance S.A. Coordinator Switzerland