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Killing Assays

Understanding whether a test biologic or small molecule can enhance tumour cell killing could well be a key component of your IO drug discovery program.

At Aquila, we offer a range of in vitro assays to evaluate the various mechanisms by which the immune system drives targeted cell death. We use Sartorius’ IncuCyte Live-Cell Analysis System to capture real-time quantitative live-cell imaging and analysis to investigate the kinetics and mechanisms of apoptosis.

Our killing assays can be adapted to a range of tumour cell lines, immune cell populations, such as PBMCs, NK cells, macrophages and neutrophils as well as complement activated responses, and combinations of your drug candidates. We offer custom and standard readouts, from cytokine expression by ELISA, multiplex or MSD, proliferation and cell surface markers by multi-colour flow cytometry, to gene expression by qPCR or NGS. Our 96-well plate format allows for moderate-throughput screening of multiple compounds, helping you achieve fast, precise results.

ADCC assay

Our antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) assays can help you understand if your biologic engages target antigen, activating immune cells through their Fc receptors initiating cell death or alternatively determine if Fc-silencing approaches are effective.

We can optimise specific targets using non-radioactive labelling techniques, and the assay can be adapted to a variety of immune cells, from mixed cell populations (PBMCs) to isolated cells (e.g. NK cells).

ADCP assay

As antibody-dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP) is an important MOA for many monoclonal antibody therapeutics. Our ADCP assays use monocytes or macrophages as effector cells for phagocytosis of target cells, to understand the effectiveness of antibody engagement with specific antigens through their Fc receptors.

Our strong expertise in macrophage differentiation in vitro, combined with our bespoke approach and readout options, ensures a phagocytosis assay design tailored to you.

CDC assay

Complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) assays allow evaluation of antibody-based therapeutics to activate the complement immune system, an innate response which also results in target cell death.

Cancer cells typically express high levels of complement inhibitor molecules, protecting them from this innate immune mechanism. We can support your understanding of the interaction between your biologic and the immune system, taking you to the clinic faster.

Please get in touch to learn more about our Killing Assays.

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