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Discovery Services

Columbia Biosciences provides functional cell based assays for pre-clinical drug development in oncology and immunology. These assays are highly reproducible with high signal to noise ratios and low covariance. Columbia’s approach provides robust early characterization of drug-induced physiological changes in cells.

In addition to providing well-developed cell-based drug screening assays, Columbia also provides its expertise and consulting services for designing a wide range of biological and biochemical assays (see Highlights below).

Our core competencies

  • Custom cell line construction. Includes cell line modification to express functional and/or reporter genes; 
  • Protein Purification (from natural sources, bacteria, algal, insect and mammalian expression systems) using ion exchange, HIC, SEC, HAP and affinity chromatography. 
  • Reagent Selection, including extensive expertise in fluorescent probe labeling. 
  • Functional cell-based screening studies, including:
    • Cell-based kinase assays (inhibition and activation of the target kinase-Cell-based epigenetics assays (acetylation/methylation of the target)
    • Functional gene expression studies (qRT-PCR and gene expression array)
    • Functional protein expression studies (changes in expression of cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, receptors and other therapeutically relevant bio-markers)
    • Cell viability/cytotoxicity experiments, performed to identify active chemotherapeutic agents.
    • Drug combination studies. Aimed to identify combination of active therapeutics that provides synergistic effects.
    • Differential apoptosis/necrosis induction
    • Immune cell proliferation (polyclonal and antigen-specific proliferation of primary B and/or T cell)
  • Biochemical and molecular screening;
  • Biomarker discovery, identification and validation;
  • Development of biochemical screening assays;
  • Development of cellular screening assays;
  • Customized screening assay design, development and validations. Luminex, ELISA and TR-FRET platforms;
  • Customized assays development for biomarker detections;
  • Customized reagent development for challenging or hard to find assays and bio- markers;
  • In vivo 

All experiments and each individual assay may be conducted and developed utilizing different (optimized) technologies platform to meet specific customer research and development needs.

Key benefits of working with Columbia Biosciences

  • Access to uniquely qualified work force of dedicated scientists.
  • All studies are designed and overseen by Study Directors with more than 55 years of combined industrial experience.
  • We have helped more than 250 domestic and international clients to advance pharmaceuticals, biologics and cellular therapeutics to the clinic.
  • Direct access to the scientist directing and/or conducting experiments, not customer service representatives or account executives.
  • All experiments are performed in a state of the art US-based facility.
  • Aggressive turnaround time lines (2 weeks for catalog assays and 4-6 weeks for custom assay development projects).
  • Superior pricing, with a price match guarantee. Unrestricted access to the most efficient technologies.
  • Columbia strives to select the best technology for solving your research problems.

Highlights of Columbia’s successes

  • Developed a new drug screening assay for detection of methadone in human urine. Learn More
  • Provided the biologic guidance and design for an oncology panel that allowed a biotech company to enter a new therapeutic space.
  • Provided the expertise for a developmental biotech company that resulted in saving the company by totally redirecting its efforts from one therapeutic to another.
  • Established in-vitro biomarker assays that could provide real time assessment of drug efficacy in clinical trials.
  • Identified immune biomarkers and designed assays leading to a successful vaccine adjuvant discovery without using live animals – a first in the history of adjuvant discovery.
  • Stopped premature termination of a drug development project by developing new techniques to assess drug efficacy.
  • Characterized and identified more than five underperforming lead drug candidates, potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars of downstream R&D and clinical wasted spending.
  • Developed recently approved clinical diagnostic. Enabled commercial launch of a highly cost competitive next generation DNA sequencing system