is a technology-oriented research biotech company with leading expertise,
know-how and cutting-edge technologies for target validation, for
the development of advanced screening assay systems and for lead
was founded in May 2001 and it is located at the prestigious San
Raffaele Biomedical Science Park in Milan.
company has about 1,300 sq. mt. of fully equipped and state-of-the-art
laboratories and offices.
team consist in 45 qualified people having an average of more than
5 years of expertise in the drug discovery processes. The Company's
mission is to become a premier provider for the drug discovery industry
thereby using and providing several tailor made technology platforms
in the fields of post-genomic and lead discovery .
strongest asset is its outstanding experience and performance in
the development of assays for high-throughput and ultra-high throughput
screening, which can be appreciated with the characteristics of
our technology platforms.
Therefore Axxam's main activities are based on:
- engineering human targets and signal detection systems in mammalian
cells to develop the most advanced generation of screening assays
for drug discovery
- tools developed to set up and test those assays on the most relevant
industrial standards e.g. 384 and 1536 well plate format with a
strong emphasise on highly customized solutions.
main focus of targets is on GPCRs, nuclear hormone receptors, transporters
and ion channels, whereas our main detection systems are based on
fluorescence and luminescence technologies suitable as for 384 as
well as for 1536 well plates formats. Our screening assays mimic
the normal physiological situation and are characterised by a very
high sensitivity and specificity to detect molecules, both natural
and artificial that match the target. This allows us to make screens
for new or better drugs that either block the target function (antagonists),
or mimic the action of the natural ligand (agonist).
technological platform consists in four modules, which are all interactive
and integrated as an assembly line process, which allows the rapid
and accurate execution of the "from gene to screen" program:
- molecular biology module (PCR station, TaqMan, "in situ"
- cell biology module (2 FACS, 20 clean benches, 20 cell incubators)
- signal detection module (384 and 1536 well luminescence and fluorescence
- liquid handling module (384 and 1536 pipetting stations, CyBio
is providing some special and highly customised services to pharmaceutical
method of choice for target validation is based on mRNA expression
with quantitative PCR (Taq-Man) and with in-situ hybridisation.
For that purpose we have created a collection containing more than
75 different very well annotated human tissues.
In our expression database we have already collected the comprehensive
expression pattern in more than 75 different tissues for nearly
all human GPCRs and nuclear hormone receptors.
We offer to our customers several cloning services including full
length cloning of known genes, EST assembly cloning etc.
The genes will be cloned into the vector of choice and all constructs
will be delivered together with their verified sequence and an electronic
3. Protein Production
We offer our customers a recombinant protein production service
which includes the cloning of the gene of interest, the expression
in the most suitable heterologous expression system and the purification
and characterisation. The identity and purity of the purified
protein will be verified by Mass-Spectrometry analysis and when
requested by the specific activity of the protein.
4. Bioassays for Screening
Based on our long experience of developing bioassays for high throughput
screening applications, we can offer very sensitive and easy to
use assay systems for the lead identification & optimisation
process. Our bioassays are either biochemical based or cell based.
Common to both assay types is the complete lack of any radioactivity
and the high sensitivity in the signal detection process, which
allows the detection of a minimum of compound activity. All our
assay systems have to fulfill a series of high standard criteria
(signal to noise ratio, standard deviation, reproducibility, assay
stability, 96 well, 384 well and 1536 well behaviour) before they
are transferred to the customer. Any assay system will be specifically
adapted to the needs of the customer.
Our main expertise for enzymatic assays is based on target families
of proteases and kinases. Based on luminescence or fluorescence
as signal detection method, we can offer assay systems with a very
high degree of sensitivity.
Cell based assays are becoming more and more the method of choice
for the screening of targets based on GPCRs, ion channels, nuclear
hormone receptors and cytokine receptors. We have a strong know-how
for setting up assays for all these important drug targets, which
are based on luminescence or fluorescence signal detection methods.
5. Lead Profiling
verification, secondary assay testing etc. is a tedious and time
consuming post- HTS-work. We have generated a generic "lead
profiling" platform for testing potential leads for specificity
and toxicity against more than 100 important target genes. This
platform can also be used for lead optimisation using conventional
or combinatorial chemistry approaches.
information is available at:
San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park
Via Olgettina, 58
20132, Milano (Italy)
phone ++39 02 2105600
fax ++39 02 39786102