August 16, 2019
If a cell image is worth a thousand words, drug hunters haven’t been paying attention to most of these. Despite the impressive capabilities of high-content imaging systems to peer into the cell, biopharma researchers tend to use these phenotypic screening platforms only to understand whether a small molecule impacts a particular biological process of interest.
Recursion Pharmaceuticals is at the forefront of a group of researchers in industry and academia who are sketching out this possible future. At Recursion’s headquarters in Utah, whirling clusters of robots treat half a million wells worth of cells per week with drugs and genetic perturbations, stain these with six dyes, and then image the results to capture and quantify as many morphological features as they can. By pushing these data through a machine learning pipeline, they hope to find relationships that are invisible to the human eye, and to tease out clusters of effects that can guide their drug discovery efforts.
To continue reading, click here:https://www.nature.com/articles/d41573-019-00144-2