How SEKISUI XenoTech ensures quality and productivity with the MVS

Delivering high-quality data to fast-moving pharma and biotech clients can be challenging. To ensure productivity while meeting stringent quality goals for their clients, XenoTech turns to the MVS.

Results within 20%
of 1 standard deviation

To ensure that their automated liquid handlers meet strict specifications so that assay results from replicates stay within 20% of one standard deviation, SEKISUI XenoTech uses an MVS.

10x Faster calibration than gravimetry

Switching from gravimetry to the MVS meant monthly automated liquid handler calibrations dropped from 40+ hours to only 4 hours for all 10 instruments.

Prevent $10,000 in lost revenue per day

Because volume verification with an MVS is so fast, they can quickly identify poor automated liquid handler performance, ensuring timely maintenance and reducing costly instrument downtime.

Product used: MVS® Multichannel Verification System
Application: Calibration, Volume verification

SITUATION

Pharma and biotech companies rely on CROs like SEKISUI XenoTech to give them in vitro drug toxicity data early in the development process. The drug development teams need accurate and reliable toxicity data to make go/no-go decisions on compounds and, thus, reduce the risk of expensive late-stage failures.

CHALLENGE

For CROs, staying competitive year-after-year means meeting their clients’ needs for high-quality data in a timely fashion. However, ensuring quality can take a significant amount of time and resources.

SOLUTION

SEKISUI XenoTech turned to the MVS for help. With the MVS, SEKISUI XenoTech was able to reduce the amount of time spent performing monthly volume verifications from forty-hours for ten instruments to only four hours, ensuring quality while increasing efficiency.

Even better, they quickly realized that with the MVS they had the confidence in their automated liquid handlers’ ability to perform low volume transfers that they could miniaturize many of their assays. Moving from 48-well plates to 96- and 384-well plates translated into time- and reagent-savings, for even greater overall efficiency.

SEKISUI XenoTech is all about quality

With so much riding on the data they deliver, data quality, reliability and reproducibility are absolutely critical to the SEKISUI XenoTech team. They push their assays to be as precise and accurate as possible, starting by having instruments that routinely transfer volumes within 6% accuracy and 3% precision for volumes 10 µl and over, and 9% accuracy and 4.5% precision for anything less than 10 µl (read Artel’s “Lab Report 4: Defining Accuracy and Precision” to learn more about these measures of data quality).

When volume transfers are this reliable, the data produced by the resulting assays are much more likely to fall within favorably narrow precision and accuracy windows. SEKISUI XenoTech’s internal standard operating procedures (SOPs) require replicate samples to be within 20% standard deviation, a very stringent specification.

Achieving this level of consistency is dependent on having well-maintained, automated liquid handlers. With ten Tecans running a wide range of applications, monthly maintenance and volume transfer verification are very important. Not only does the team need to be sure they can trust their instruments are transferring, say, 10 µl and not 9.8 µl, they need to be able to tell if a robot is starting to drift out of spec. Each day a single Tecan is down translates into $10,000 in lost revenue.

Robert Grbac
Senior Scientist at SEKISUI XenoTech

The MVS saves time

To keep instruments operating within specifications and minimize downtime, Ryan Mueller, Automation Scientist and Engineer at SEKISUI XenoTech, performs monthly volume verification checks using the Artel MVS®. In four hours, he’s able to verify the performance of all ten liquid handlers—down from forty-plus hours when the team was using gravimetric methods for volume verification.
In addition, by tracking performance over time the SEKISUI XenoTech team can identify when one of the instruments is starting to drift off spec and replace worn parts. By identifying potential problems before they happen, they can better manage assay workflows and minimize costly downtime.

Ryan Mueller,
Automation Scientist and Engineer at SEKISUI XenoTech

The MVS enables increased efficiency

“Once we brought Artel into the lab, we realized we could push to small volumes. We typically work beyond the liquid handler’s specifications, and we can do this because we have Artel to verify their performance,” says Grbac.

With Artel in place, SEKISUI XenoTech was able to miniaturize many of their assays, moving from 48-well plates in 2008 to 96- and 384-well plates in today’s assays. Increasing throughput while maintaining quality means faster timelines for their clients and more efficient processes overall.

At the end of the day, the SEKISUI XenoTech team needs to deliver quality data in a timely fashion. With the throughput and timelines they need to meet, there’s typically no time for repeating a study or a set of samples—everything has to run correctly the first time. Starting with rigorous maintenance and attention to instrument performance and continuing with careful assay design, execution and data analysis, SEKISUI XenoTech is able to deliver unparalleled data that helps drug developers make critical decisions. They go home satisfied that they are doing their part to make the world safer one drug at a time (or sixteen if you are running a Discovery Plus panel)!

Customer Stories

How Takeda streamlines assay transfer and troubleshooting with the MVS
Read Case Study

How Beckman Coulter improved customer satisfaction, expanded OQ sign-ups with an MVS
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How Sorenson Forensics saves time and money by bringing pipette calibration in-house
Read Case Study

About SEKISUI XenoTech

SEKISUI XenoTech, LLC is a global Contract Research Organization with unparalleled ADME/PK and Drug-Drug Interaction experience, utilized by 98% of top pharma companies and numerous other organizations. 

For the past 25 years, the company has offered proven drug development expertise in evaluating drug candidates in compliance with regulatory requirements and guidance prior to entrance to market. The company offers a variety of in vitro and in vivo safety assessment studies for drug candidate evaluation, as well as an extensive selection of products for drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic research. For additional information, please refer to the company’s website at www.xenotech.com or call (913) 438-7450.

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