A study suggests that the quality of lab procedures performed heavily influences the rate of drug discoveries. These findings were due to a statistical measure known as the "Z' value" and were published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
"There are a lot of diseases out there for which there is no treatment or the treatments aren't very good," said Dr Matthew Lloyd, who led the study from the University's Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. "This explains why there is such a big drive to develop new treatments using high-throughput screening."
The results can potentially pressurize labs on revolutionizing their practices in order to speed drug discovery.
"These findings underline how important it is to make sure your assay is the best possible quality it can be," said Dr Lloyd. "A high Z' factor, indicative of high-quality lab procedures, enables more hits to be found and ultimately should increase the chances of new treatments being developed.
"Some studies are currently using assays that are not very good in terms of the Z'-factor. It was thought that 0.5 was acceptable but this review shows a level between 0.75 and 0.8 is the minimum that should be aimed for.
Learn more about drug discovery in the lab:
"I suspect some researchers don't realize there is such a pronounced effect, which is why they settle for assay with a Z' of 0.7. But in the future, people in industry will need to be mindful of the results.”
Source: Science Daily