ELISPOT Assay: A Powerful Tool in Vaccine Development and Immune Monitoring

ELISPOT Assay: A Powerful Tool in Vaccine Development and Immune  Monitoring

Over the past several years, the life science community has gained an improved understanding of the immune system–from B and T cells to molecular pathways.  With new, state-of-the-art tools and technologies, immunologists now have the ability to take a holistic approach to understanding the mechanisms of immune response. These applications help us devise methods to treat immune system-related diseases and to design better vaccines to combat infectious agents and cancer.

Currently, one of the most sensitive techniques available for the detection, measurement, and functional analysis of immune cells is the enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay. Covance’s Translational Biomarker Solutions group uses the ELISPOT technique to evaluate test subject responses to our sponsors’ vaccines, drugs, and biological products. ELISPOT is also useful in the pre-clinical space, where Covance can assess the toxicity of investigational compounds and biologics, and evaluate the efficacy of vaccines. Continue reading

Understanding the Clinical Impact of Having a Companion Diagnostics Strategy

Understanding the Clinical Impact of Having a Companion Diagnostics Strategy

As the pace of companion diagnostic innovation continues to accelerate, the drug development industry faces several headwinds. Numerous patent ‘cliffs’ are affecting the sales of blockbuster drugs; competition is increasing for a limited clinical trial population in increasingly global trials; and health outcomes pressures from patients, payers and healthcare providers are transforming the drug development process.

Over the past 10 years, advances in analytical technologies have provided new tools to identify patients who are more likely to positively respond to a certain drug or, conversely, experience a negative reaction to the particular therapy. These tools, known as companion diagnostics, are laboratory tests for biomarkers that, once commercialized, are designed to be an accompaniment to the safe and effective use of a particular therapy. Continue reading