Asynt unveils new PAMPA technology

Academics at The University of Manchester have developed a new iteration of PAMPA (Parallel Artificial Membrane Permeability Assay) technology, that has the potential to help pharmaceutical companies bring new drugs to market faster and at a significantly reduced cost.

Deriving from the University's School of Chemistry and funded by its Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA), the novel system has been licensed to scientific tool and consumables manufacturer, Asynt Ltd, by the University’s technology transfer office, UMIP. It builds upon existing technology to better-mimic the mechanism of drug permeation across human intestinal wall cells.

By applying rotation, hydrodynamic control and in-situ measurement of drug permeation during processing – the new PAMPA system enables analyses to be conducted at a much faster rate.

When utilising the older PAMPA technology, researchers typically have to wait several hours for results and often have to leave the system running overnight. However, the new technique can produce results in as little as 20 minutes.

Similarly, the use of the organic membrane provides an attractive alternative to testing on animal cells and delivers more accurate results than the original technology, which has remained largely unchanged since the late 1990s.

Its speed, accuracy and scalability means that the system has the potential to reduce the number of later-stage failures and cut attrition rates among potential drugs and its unique setup enables users to analyse permeability in real-time.

While the initial focus of the project is on improving the application of PAMPA technology within the pharmaceutical sector, the ability to change the composition of the membrane means there are numerous potential applications far beyond drug discovery and development.

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