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What are Biochemical Assays?

Biochemical assays are analytical methods used to measure and quantify metabolic reactions and cellular processes such as cell signaling and apoptosis. Biochemical assay development and analysis is utilized as a routine, reliable procedure to aid target characterization and enable a useful understanding of biomolecular functions during drug discovery and development. Multiple techniques, including ELISA and Western blotting, exist for quantifying metabolic activity and measuring the functional behavior of biomolecules such as enzymes, proteins, cofactors, and small molecules. Furthermore, biochemical assays can identify protein-protein, protein-RNA, and protein-DNA interactions.

NorthEast BioLab uses biochemical assays for in-vitro studies and drug discovery applications. Our scientists characterize, quantify, and track the activity of several biomolecules using biochemical analysis. The presence and quantity of a biomolecule can be measured using spectrophotometric or gel-based assays with a quick readout or extended biochemical analysis tests spread over several days and weeks. E.g., NorthEast BioLab scientists can conduct an ELISA based biochemical assay using a target-identifying probe or antibody and a secondary reaction like horseradish peroxidase detection. 

For spectrophotometric readouts, biochemical detection methods rely on colorimetric, fluorometric, and luminescent reactions. 

  • Colorimetric/chromogenic reactions show a visible change in color
  • Fluorometric/fluorogenic reactions emit a fluorescent signal when excited by a source of light
  • Luminescent reactions emit light after a chemical reaction

A full evaluation of the homogeneity, processivity, sensitivity, and reproducibility of biomolecules needs extensive experimentation and high throughput screening (HTS). 

Biochemical Assay Development and Analysis During Drug Discovery, Preclinical, and Clinical Phases

Biochemical assays are used in drug discovery as targeted assays using well-established reaction components. Assay development for a specific biomolecule involves identification of the target of interest, target validation to determine the therapeutic effect, and identification of biochemical pathways activated during drug treatment. Well-known components and purified compounds are incubated together to assess activators or inhibitors of these specific pathways. Additionally, direct and coupled enzymatic assays, kinetic assays, or binding assays (direct) can be leveraged to identify temporal and kinetic effects of specific treatments on biochemical pathways during all phases of the drug development pathway.

Biochemical assays can be used to assess cell membrane permeability and the capability of modulating the drug’s target, when inside the cells. Similarly, cell-based assays can be used to determine target binding through biophysical or biochemical assay development. As an industry-recommended practice, NorthEast BioLab scientists use both cell-based assays and biochemical assays together to quantify a pathway or target. A compound that reveals high potency when assessed through biochemical analysis may not show similar results in cell-based assays. However, a compound with high potency in a cell-based assay can show high potency in a biochemical assay as a result of medicinal optimization, which can enhance the physicochemical properties of the compound. Performing both sets of assays is critical for the successful optimization of a compound during drug development.

Below, we have explained two types of biochemical analysis services offered by NorthEast BioLab:

Enzymatic Assay

The enzymes or proteins present in the human body exhibit catalytic activity, the ability to perform tasks resulting in reactions. Hence, it is necessary for enzymes synthesized industrially to exhibit the correct functions. NorthEast BioLab scientists measure the activity of the enzyme through various assays, product syntheses, analyses of substrate consumption, or by spectrophotometric assays to ensure proper activity after synthesis or purification.

Western Blot Analysis

While enzymatic assays are useful for proteins with catalytic activity, Western blotting is the gold standard for identifying all types of proteins. This biochemical analysis uses antibodies to identify and bind the protein. The detection is achieved by analyzing the signal generated by an enzyme bound to the target antibody. The signal intensity recorded during this detection is proportional to the amount of bound protein. Thus, this technology allows scientists to quantify protein levels in varying conditions.

Why Choose NorthEast Biolab for your Biochemical Assays and Analysis?

NorthEast BioLab researchers and experts deliver biochemical analysis services, including library profiling, high throughput screening, and lead optimization. Our epigenetic and enzymatic biochemical assay development improves the effectiveness and safety profile of your drug discovery experiments for single or multiple compounds.

We understand the need to develop biochemical assays for high reproducibility, robust performance, and better serum tolerance. Our team delivers high throughput screening and bench-top assay development by utilizing suitable analysis methods for your product. Biochemical assays by NorthEast BioLab not only offer colorimetric, fluorometric, and luminescent readouts, but also support multi-well and scalable analysis. This allows accelerated identification and accurate pharmacological experimentation.

Our objective is to help you with robust biochemical assay development. Thus, we strive to understand your requirements and create a biochemical assay that reliably measures your target of interest. We support you in developing an analysis method that would enable effective and scalable target identification.

In summary, we offer industry-recommended biochemical services to mitigate risks and expedite the path for your drug from lab to market by lending our expertise to your team.