This Insight Pharma Report focuses on the applications, technology and market aspects of high-content analysis (HCA) - a field that originated when automated microscopic imaging technology joined with the high-throughput screening paradigm that signified the birth of “industrialized drug discovery”.
High-throughput screening (HTS), used for the en masse discovery of compounds that interact with molecular drug targets, provides many more hits than viable drug candidates. In the last decade, HCS (high-content screening), based largely on automated imaging technology, has come to provide a form of secondary screening in which hits can be tested efficiently for their effects on cells. Applications of HCS have diversified into what is now called HCA (high-content analysis), a more generalized term that covers areas such as target identification, pathway analysis, mechanism of action verification, and cell biology research in general.
High-Content Analysis: Technologies, Applications, and Market Dynamics begins by examining the evolution and nature of HCA. The several variant definitions of HCA/HCS that have been offered are addressed, before turning to an examination of the technological aspects of HCA. In addition to automated microscopic imaging systems, also covered are flow cytometry from the HCA perspective, live cell and kinetic HCA, the role of primary cells and stem cells, and the nature of informatics systems supporting HCA investigations.
This report next addresses HCA applications in areas that include cell signaling, cell and organism physiology, toxicology, and target identification and validation before turning specifically to applications in drug discovery, including primary and secondary screening. Other topics covered are the role of service organizations, the nature and sources of cells and other sample types, and applications in cell biology research.
High-Content Analysis: Technologies, Applications, and Market Dynamics then turns to an analysis of market dynamics in terms of the competitive landscape among vendors, deals and deal patterns, and results from a survey of individuals who use HCA. We conclude by summarizing our findings, discussing possible future directions in the HCA field, and addressing the key questions: