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Scripps Research Licenses New Instrumentation Platform That Dramatically Improves Compound Management

JUPITER, FL, February 8, 2012 – Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have designed and licensed a major new technology that dramatically improves the quality control and management of compounds used for high-throughput screening, a process that can be used to search for potential new drugs.

The technology, which consists of an automated instrumentation platform called the Plate AuditorTM, has been licensed for manufacture and sale to the Brooks Life Science Systems division of Brooks Automation, a leading worldwide provider of automation, vacuum, and instrumentation solutions for multiple markets including semiconductor manufacturing, life sciences, and clean energy.

The Plate AuditorTM was designed by Peter Hodder, senior scientific director, and his laboratory staff, Louis Scampavia and Pierre Baillargeon. It combines advanced spectroscopy and image analysis techniques to perform rapid, automated, and nondestructive quality assessment of compounds in high-throughput screening collections. It also monitors the quality of all samples through their lifecycle, a practice not currently possible with existing technologies.

“This is the first instrument of its kind and first in its class,” Hodder said.  “As a detection platform, it provides a wealth of information about a compound sample that you simply couldn’t get from one instrument.”

Scripps Research uses the instrument routinely for quality control of more than 1 million compounds in its drug-discovery screening operation.

John Lillig, senior vice president and managing director of Brooks Life Science Systems, commented, “As the leader in providing automated compound and biological sample management systems to pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world, Brooks is very excited to be working together with the Scripps Research Institute’s Compound Management Group on the development and the commercialization of this innovative and very useful Compound/HTS Quality Assurance technology. With over 350 million samples stored in Brooks Sample Management Systems around the world, the new Scripps Research/Brooks Plate AuditorTM will be a very nice complement to our Brooks Tube AuditorTM product offering and a valuable new quality enhancement tool for our many Compound Management colleagues around the world.”

The new instrument will debut at the First Annual Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) in February in San Diego, CA.  Hodder himself will be presenting the new HIAPI-CM at a European Lab Automation Conference this May.

Hodder hopes the new technology gets people thinking about Scripps Florida in a brand new way.

“We want people to know that in addition to discovering therapeutic molecules, we can also design and build novel instrumentation for screening operations,” said Hodder, who founded and has directed the high-throughput screening laboratory at Scripps Florida since 2005.

More information on the technology can be found in a recent publication, “Monitoring of HTS compound library quality via a high-resolution image acquisition and processing instrument, by Baillargeon P., Scampavia L., Einsteder R., and Hodder P. in the  Journal of Laboratory Automation  2011 Jun;16(3):197-203) or the technology patent (http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/search/en/WO2010057081)

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and vaccine development, as well as for its insights into autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. Headquartered in La Jolla, California, the institute also includes a campus in Jupiter, Florida, where scientists focus on drug discovery and technology development in addition to basic biomedical science. Scripps Research currently employs about 3,000 scientists, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students on its two campuses. The institute's graduate program, which awards Ph.D. degrees in biology and chemistry, is ranked among the top ten such programs in the nation. For more information, see www.scripps.edu.

About Brooks Life Science Systems

Brooks Life Science Systems is a leading worldwide provider of automation and related solutions for compound and biological sample storage, management, and analysis. The Company combines the specialist expertise of industry-renowned brands, REMP®, Nexus, and RTS, together with the extensive R&D and global service capabilities of Brooks Automation.

Brooks Life Science Systems partners with its customers, working as a trusted advisor from specification, to system installation and ongoing service and customer support. From standardized bench top systems to custom installations, Brooks has the largest installed base of automated storage systems and support network in the Life Sciences industry, with more than 180 systems across the globe, including the top 20 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

As pioneers in automated storage, Brooks Life Science Systems continually focuses its R&D activities on providing innovative solutions to maintaining sample integrity and security during sample storage, handling, analyzing, and processing applications. Solutions provided by Brooks are transforming the productivity and streamlining the workflow of scientists across a broad range of life science applications, including drug discovery and biobanking.

Brooks Life Science Systems is a division of Brooks Automation, Inc (NASDAQ: BRKS), a publicly listed company with headquarters in North America and operations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.brooks.com.

About Brooks Automation, Inc.

Brooks is a leading worldwide provider of automation, vacuum and instrumentation solutions for multiple markets including semiconductor manufacturing, life sciences, and clean energy. The Company’s technologies, engineering competencies and global service capabilities provide customers speed to market, and ensure high uptime and rapid response, which equate to superior value in their mission-critical controlled environments. Since 1978, Brooks has been a leading partner to the global semiconductor manufacturing market and through product development initiatives and strategic business acquisitions; the Company has expanded its reach to meet the needs of customers in the life sciences industry, analytical & research markets and clean energy solutions. Brooks is headquartered in Chelmsford, MA, with direct operations in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.brooks.com.

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Peter Hodder, PhD
– For a high-resolution image see: http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/
images/hodder_peter/hodder_peter.jpg