In January 2020, Birmingham based preclinical contract research organisation, Gifford Bioscience Limited, launched their new SPR Biacore Assay Service. This is a highly specialised technique, adding further depth to the company’s core competence in receptor pharmacology.
Who Is Gifford Bioscience?
Gifford Bioscience are based on the University of Birmingham’s Research Park, in the United Kingdom. They specialise in providing receptor pharmacology and occupancy studies to biotech companies, large pharma and university researchers.
Gifford Bioscience have quickly built a loyal international client base. Two-thirds of their contracts are repeat business from the scientists they have previously worked with. Half of their business comes from researchers in the United States and a further third from Continental Europe.
Gifford Bioscience is a family firm, founded by two brothers. Dr Andrew Gifford, chief scientific officer, was previously senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. Macer Gifford, managing director, was previously deputy CEO of a banking group. Dr Kevin Thompson joined last year, to develop the new business line, bringing with him 25-years’ experience in Biotech Pharma and specialist expertise in SPR (Biacore) Assays.
What are SPR (Biacore) Assays?
Gifford Bioscience’s new SPR (Biacore) Assay service involves immobilising a target receptor onto a biosensor surface in a Biacore T200 instrument. Test compounds are flowed over the biosensor surface to measure their binding and release from the receptor. This methodology is vital for optimising the affinity and receptor residency of candidate drug compounds.
The new service can be divided into two main parts;
Kinetic Affinity – Measuring the binding association rate of a compound with its target receptor and then its subsequent dissociation rate to calculate affinity. This technique also measures how long a compound remains bound to its receptor (residency).
Equilibrium Binding – For compounds with association and dissociation rates that are too fast to measure using the T200, receptor affinity can be determined from the equilibrium binding response at increasing compound concentrations.
By offering this new service, Gifford Bioscience hope to assist customers to advance their candidate drug selection and development programmes to bring more effective drugs to market more quickly.
Macer Gifford, managing director added ‘’Biacore is a natural fit within the core competence of Gifford Bioscience: determining how a potential drug binds to its target. Kevin had considerable experience with the technique and we are delighted to have him lead the business stream.’’
What else are Gifford Bioscience doing?
Gifford Bioscience are a fast-growing scientific research business, but they adhere tightly to their core expertise in testing how and where a potential new medical drug binds to its intended target in the body.
The assay services currently offered by Gifford Bioscience include:
- Receptor occupancy – Assays that measure the degree to which a test substance occupies its target receptor in tissues or animals.
- Radioligand binding – These assays are considered the gold standard for measuring the affinity of ligand binding to a target receptor, due to their high levels of robustness and sensitivity.
- Receptor autoradiography – Used for identifying receptor binding sites and the distribution of radiolabelled drugs in tissue or organ sections.
- Cellular uptake and release – Used to measure a compound’s transport into cells or efflux from cells. They can also determine a compound’s potency and efficacy.
- Custom radiolabelling – Small molecules, peptides and proteins can be custom radiolabelled by Gifford Bioscience, for use with their assay services.
To find out more about the specialist services offered by Gifford Bioscience, or for press, images or any other enquiries, you can reach out to the team using the following details: