31 May Protein-crystal companies join forces for better imaging process
MADISON – Formulatrix Inc. and Bruker AXS have announced they will work together to market their protein-crystal incubation and imaging products.
Crystal Farm, developed by the Madison-based research company Bruker and Discovery Partners International, is an integrated product for incubation and imaging of protein crystals, a process that helps companies design drugs. The system will now work with Formulatrix’s Rock Maker, a software package that automates and tracks crystallization. Rock Maker is intended to work with almost any available robotics for liquid handling, plate storage, and retrieval and imaging systems.
“We are very pleased to be working with Formulatrix,” said Daniel Frankel, product manager for life sciences business development at Bruker. “Integration of the Crystal Farm with the Rock Maker software is a major step forward in completely automating the protein crystallization experiment. This partnership will facilitate crystal farm users to seamlessly integrate liquid handling instrumentation with their imaging and incubation.”
On Formulatrix’s end of the deal, it will have access to what CEO Jeremy Stevenson called “a high-end plate storage and retrieval system.” Crystal Farm boasts patent-pending imaging technology that Bruker and DPI hope will place it ahead of the pack.
“Together with the Bruker Proteum x-ray crystallography system, this constitutes a powerful yet affordable high-throughput ‘structure factory,’” said Bruker CTO Roger Durst.
The Crystal Farm is the first integrated incubation and imaging system for protein crystallization to be offered to the crystallography community. By providing high throughput protein crystallization automation, the Crystal Farm is accelerating structure based drug design. Combining a 400 plate capacity, environmentally controlled incubator and DPI’s patent pending “cool flash” imaging technology, the DPI Crystal Farm offers unprecedented advancements in crystal screening automation.
“By controlling both the liquid handling robotics and the incubation and optical scanning in the Crystal Farm, the Rock Maker software ‘closes the loop’ to allow crystallization conditions to be rapidly scanned and then optimized,” says Dr. Roger Durst, Chief Technology Officer for Bruker AXS.