Molecular Devices introduces IonWorks Quattro System for accelerated ion channel screening

Feb 10, 2005

Sunnyvale, Calif., February 10, 2005 - Molecular Devices Corporation (Nasdaq: MDCC), today announced the introduction of IonWorks Quattro, a second-generation ion channel screening instrument with four times the throughput capability over its predecessor, the IonWorks HT. The IonWorks Quattro system was developed using Molecular Devices' Population Patch ClampTM technology, a revolutionary new approach in the planar patch clamp technique. The system will debut at the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, February 12-16 in Long Beach, California at Molecular Devices' Booth #302.

The IonWorks Quattro system employs a new PatchPlateTM Population Patch Clamp (PPC) substrate, a 384-well planar array that is designed to allow ion channel recordings to be simultaneously collected from multiple cells within each well. The IonWorks Quattro system has shown success rates of 95% or more, which are so high that it is not necessary to apply test compounds redundantly to four wells, thus enabling an immediate four-fold throughput improvement and up to 50% reduction in cost per data point over the IonWorks HT system-the highest throughput electrophysiological screening system available until now.

"The PPC technology utilized by the IonWorks Quattro system extends the multi-cell robustness inherent in Molecular Devices' existing fluorescence screening instruments, such as FLIPR®, to electrophysiology," stated Alan Finkel, Chief Technology Officer at Molecular Devices. "All previous electrophysiological recording systems are limited by the success rate that is achievable with a single cell in a well, which is unlikely to exceed 70% consistently, even under the best of circumstances. The PPC technique is designed to remove the dependence on the expression levels or viability of individual cells, thereby enabling each well to measure the response to a population of cells."

"The increased throughput and reduced cost-per-data-point of this system makes it both feasible and affordable to conduct primary screening campaigns of directed library sets," stated Dr. Shawn Handran, IonWorks Quattro Product Marketing Manager at Molecular Devices. "In addition, the IonWorks Quattro is fully compatible with IonWorks HT technology, supporting both the original PatchPlate and new PatchPlate PPC substrates."

Ion channels are an important therapeutic target class for diseases of the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. The Company believes that IonWorks Quattro is ideal for many of these applications, from primary screening of directed compound libraries, to hit confirmation, selectivity testing and lead optimization. Ion channels are also important in early safety testing. The IonWorks Quattro system is designed to be used for early screening of lead candidates for unintentional activity on ion channels, such as the cardiac potassium channel, human ether-à-go-go-related gene (hERG).

At the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, Dr. Finkel will give a technical presentation on the IonWorks Quattro system and Population Patch Clamp technology in a special exhibitor's presentation session on February 13th at 1:30 p.m., Long Beach Convention Center, Room 204.

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