LRIG Logo The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group
Mid Atlantic Chapter

January 2005
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The Laboratory Robotics Interest Group
Mid Atlantic Chapter

January 2005 Meeting

Automated Sample Management, Storage & Retrieval
Technology Exhibition & Presentations

Date:        Thursday, January 13, 2005
Place:      Somerset Marriott Hotel, 110 Davidson Ave., Somerset, NJ 08873
                    Phone: 732-560-0500, Fax: 732-560-3669
Itinerary:  Exhibition & Social Period -  3:00pm to 6:00pm
                 Workshop on LabView -        4:00pm to 5:30pm
                  Meeting & Presentations -    6:00pm to 9:00pm
Pre-Registration: REQUESTED, not required.  Pre-registering will allow us to more accurately gauge seating requirements and refreshment needs.  Pre-register on the web at:
There will be drawings from the  web registrants for our LRIG laser pointers, Photon key ring lights and any donated prizes.

Door Prizes:
Laser Pointers --- LRIG
Carry Bags --- Manufacturing Applications eXperts
Photon Keyring Lights --- LRIG
  Door prizes for the drawings gratefully accepted - a great way to get your name out!

Agenda:  The High Throughput Screening industry faces the bottleneck of an increasing amount of lead compounds making automated compound storage and retrieval a necessary process to achieve the desired assay level.  A recent D&MD report noted: "... it may no longer be sufficient to provide increased throughput for screening while doing nothing to affect downstream bottlenecks in later-stage screening.  Alternatively, it may no longer be sufficient to provide high-throughput screening solutions that fail to effectively interface with compound storage and retrieval systems."  This meeting is focused on current and future approaches in Automated Sample Management, Storage & Retrieval technologies, as well as compound stability and integrity issues.  There is a profile of the Automated Compound Storage and Retrieval field at:

Recent advancements in this important field will be discussed in presentations from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.  Exhibitors will display their latest technology from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. 

We have a new feature at this meeting!  One of our LRIG Mid Atlantic Steering Committee members, Kapeel Krishana, has experience with National Instruments' LabView control software.  Kapeel has volunteered to conduct a hands-on workshop at this meeting to introduce LRIG members to this versatile interfacing package.  Theory of operation will be presented as well as real interfacing examples.  The workshop is free to LRIG members and will take place from 4:00 to 5:30pm.  Please register for "LRIG Mid Atlantic - Workshop on LabView" at

Food and refreshments will be available FREE OF CHARGE during the Exhibition and Social Period.

There is always a Job posting board at the social. Please encourage your recruiters to give you material to post and distribute. Openings may also be posted at:

There is no fee to attend the meeting.

Presentation:   Compound precipitation from DMSO and the synergy between water uptake and freeze / thaw cycles
Christopher Lipinski, Ph.D.; Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
Pfizer Global Research and Development, Pfizer, Inc., retired

Freeze / thaw cycles have been recognized as deleterious to compound storage in DMSO stock solutions but largely for the wrong reasons. Historically, freeze thaw cycles have been viewed mostly as harmful with respect to compound stability, i.e. chemical degradation. This is probably incorrect. Freeze / thaw cycles in synergy with water uptake into DMSO are primarily harmful with respect to compound precipitation. The synergy aspect is very important. It may be difficult to experimentally show an adverse effect of freeze thaw cycles if the DMSO is bone dry or if materials initially dissolved in DMSO are crystalline as opposed to amorphous. It is the uncontrolled water uptake into DMSO stocks in synergy with cooling that is the problem and that is solved by single freeze thaw tube storage systems. The bottom line is to treat DMSO in compound storage as if it were a water sensitive reagent.

Can anything be done about precipitated samples? Rather remarkably the answer is yes. In the majority of cases precipitated samples can be re-dissolved by sonication. This behavior is beneficially unexpected, is without literature precedent and is counter to simplistic thermodynamic considerations. In a minority of cases sonication induces precipitation from super saturated solutions. This behavior does have limited literature precedent.

Presentation:   Fully Automated Compound Distribution Center
Collette DeChard; Manager Basic Biological Support; Compound Management Group
Merck & Co. Inc.; Rahway, NJ

Four years ago Merck's Compound Management Group started a journey to design, develop and implement a Fully Automated Compound Distribution Center. Come see how our vision became a reality!

Presentation:   Leveraging Compound Management Capabilities in Support of Drug Discovery: From Sample Archive to Sample Distribution - Driving Efficiency and Improving Productivity
Michael J. Sofia, Ph.D.; Group Director New Leads Chemistry
Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute; Wallingford, CT

The physical compounds within a pharmaceutical company compound collection are the embodiment of many years of creativity and innovation, and through the screening process, these compound assets are the genesis of new leads and future drugs. Therefore, for the future success of the business, it is essential that these assets be effectively managed and leveraged to support all drug discovery needs from lead discovery through lead optimization. Pharmaceutical compound management organizations have evolved to manage these critical compound assets and to service the vast array of compound needs for global discovery operations. Technology advances and process optimization have broadened the scope of compound management impact on the drug discovery environment and have lead to significant productivity and efficiency gains. The expanded role of compound management within the BMS drug discovery environment and the impact of technology and process development on functional and organizational productivity and efficiency will be described.

Presentation:   ACMF: The AstraZeneca Solution to the Challenge of Today Compound Management
Dalin Nie; Head, Compound Management & Automation; & Deborah Hartman, Lead Discovery, AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals; Wilmington, DE

The corporate compound library is a key asset in pharmaceutical industry. Effective management of this asset is critical to the drug discovery pipeline. Advances in Lead Generation have produced an increasing need for high quality samples, and a growing demand for large-scale library subsetting for alternative screening methods. New solutions are required to preserve & monitor compound integrity, as well as to track and deliver hundreds of thousands of samples accurately in a timely manner. In order to meet this challenge, an innovative automated compound management facility (ACMF) was established in Wilmington, Delaware as part of AstraZeneca worldwide investment.

This $13M ACMF facility features some of the most advanced technologies and automation in compound storage and handling, with the ability to randomly access up to 30,000 samples daily, and process them into assay-ready formats for testing. The facility has the capacity to store over 2.8 million samples in an optimized environment, and the ability to produce assay plates in nanoliter volumes on demand for HTS. It will process compound requests from local & remote research sites with delivery time under 48 hours. A modular approach with in-house system integration was adopted to incorporate selected instrumentation & technologies from over 20 different vendors, providing flexibility to accommodate process changes and future technology advancement. The facility will greatly enhance the speed, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of drug discovery research. Key learning points from our experience of designing & implementing such facility will be shared in the presentation.

Presentation:   Impact of Acoustic Non-Contact Transfer of Compounds upon Compound Management and Ultra High Throughput Screening
Timothy Spicer; Research Scientist
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Wallingford, CT

Research and development organizations are under constant pressure to streamline processes, remove bottlenecks and reduce costs in order to be successful in new drug development. The demand to move from 384-well based screening to rapid and miniaturized screening in 1536-well density formats, from a pharmaceutical development perspective, has been a priority for many years and until recently, largely unsatisfied. Recently, we have overcome a significant hurdle towards that goal by implementing acoustic non contact droplet ejection (ADE) to enable the reformatting of compounds from 384-well source plates into 1536-well assay plates. This has been coupled to fully automated flexible screening platforms to allow us to screen 100K compounds per day. While we have realized the power of this new technology in terms of enabling ultra high throughput screening, there are multiple changes that must be properly understood and implemented within our current compound collection supply line. However, the benefit with regards to reagent costs, consumables costs, the environment, the potential for closed loop screening, the potential for compound conservation and the ability to acoustically audit each source well justify these changes and will be discussed.


bulletArctic White
bulletAurora Discovery
bulletBD Biosciences
bulletCaliper Life Sciences
bulletCutting Edge Scientific / SSI Robotics
bulletFlow Sciences
bulletHudson Control Group
bulletManufacturing Applications eXperts
bulletMatrix Technologies
bulletMeCour Temperature Control
bulletMPR Associates
bulletNalge Nunc BioProducts
bulletNational Instruments
bulletReaction Biology
bulletRem Systems
bulletRTS Thurnall
bulletScientific Asset Management
bulletSIAS-Xiril / Colibri Robotics
bulletSociety for Biomolecular Screening
bulletThe Automation Partnership
bulletThermo CRS

Exhibitor Information:


Food and refreshments are free of charge to attendees - they are paid for by the exhibitors, so please be sure to visit all their exhibits!

The 2004 menu was:

HORS D'OEUVRES Served on a Decorated Buffet

bulletSliced Fresh Fruits and berries with a honey yogurt sauce
bulletShrimp cocktail

 Hot Selections

bulletSatay Chicken with a Peanut Sauce
bulletSpinach and Feta Cheese Enrobed in Phyllo Dough
bulletMini Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
bulletSesame Chicken with Honey Mustard
bulletTempura Vegetables in a Creamy Horseradish Sauce Mini Beef Wellington

Cold Selections

bulletFresh Mozzarella and Sundried Tomato Served on Basil round
bulletCalifornia Rolls with Soy Sauce, Wasabi and Ginger
bulletPenne Pasta in a marinara sauce
bulletCheese filled tortellini with Alfredo Sauce
bulletGarlic Bread and Breadsticks

Coffee and Tea Stations
Water, soda, and a cash bar



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