Cell-based Assays

Independently of the target of interest, setting up the most suitable and robust assay is a critical step to a successful high-throughput screening (HTS) or hit-to-lead campaign.

Axxam offers over 20 years of experience in developing cell-based assays customized to client’s needs. Axxam’s expertise covers a variety of target classes and pathways including, but not limited to:

  • G protein-coupled receptor (GPCRs)
  • Ion channels
  • Transporters & exchangers
  • Nuclear hormone receptors
  • Cytokine receptors
  • Tyrosine kinase receptors
  • Enzymes
  • Gene promoters
  • Protein secretion
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • Protein degradation

Axxam assays find application in several research fields such as pharmaceutical (for example in neurodegeneration, oncology, metabolism, etc.), agrochemical, flavour and fragrance, however, our open-minded approach means we develop assays for any target and disease model.

Assay development at Axxam

Several cell types, such as immortalized or primary cell lines or iPSC-derived cells, can serve as suitable models to study endogenously expressed or overexpressed targets (transiently or stably) for in-house services and/or transferred to our clients for HTS and hit-to-lead activities. No matter how challenging your target is, the Axxam scientific team will look for solutions and propose the best fitting approach to develop an HTS-grade assay.

Cell-based assays are typically configured in 384 well format for use with different detection systems including fluorescence, luminescence, TR-FRET-based assays, ion-sensitive dies, membrane potential sensitive dies, genetically encoded biosensors, and, furthermore, imaging analysis for phenotypic assays, electrophysiology analysis by patch clamp, and gene expression analysis by quantitative PCR.

All the cell lines developed at Axxam are QC-checked and satisfy stringent quality requirements for their use in HTS. The aim is to obtain assays with the best sensitivity and most suited for their final goal, which includes the identification of allosteric modulators and state-dependent blockers.

Do you want to run an HTS on your assay?

Clients might transfer their assays to us for screening purposes. Axxam’s approach is based on finding the best solution to satisfy our Clients’ needs in terms of time and quality. The Axxam scientific team works to achieve the best level of optimization, improving the assay, if required, to ensure assay robustness and high-quality performance throughout a screening campaign and/or hit validation and hit-to-lead steps.

Off-the-shelf HTS-grade assays

Axxam has a large portfolio of ready-to-use assays covering more than 100 cell-based assays for key drug discovery targets, such as GPCRs, ion channels, transporters, pain & inflammation targets, which are available for in-house activities or to purchase. Different reporter genes and detection systems coupled to specific signaling cascades are used, and assays are optimized for the standard 384-well format.

Related Content:

Olfaction and taste receptor platforms


Axxam offers through its business unit, IMAX Discovery , access to a variety of assay platforms for receptors of the olfactory and taste systems. The platforms are validated for compound testing and screening activities in the fields of food & beverage, pet food and cosmetics, as well as pharma.