Identification of Small-Molecule Aggregation

Identification of Small-Molecule Aggregation

Identification of Small-Molecule Aggregation

CD BioSciences is committed to developing a variety of advanced and efficient biophysical technologies to provide clients with services to identify small molecule aggregation and quantify the degree of aggregation. Our professional scientific services will help to promote future molecular design by reducing loss, so as to reliably help our clients make decisions.


High throughput screening (HTS) is the pillar of small molecule tool identification and drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry and a growing number of academic drug discovery centers. However, in many experiments screening compounds that modulate the activity of drug targets, many of the 'hits' are false positives and therefore need to be identified to avoid the pursuit of artifactual molecules rather than bona fide drug discovery starting points.

A common source of false positives is the aggregation of small molecules into colloidal assemblies, which may modulate target activity by sequestering the target rather than binding at a specific site on it. The aggregation has been reported to occur in 95% of major hits in HTS campaigns. Aggregation may also lead to an apparent structure-activity relationship that is unrelated to direct stoichiometric inhibition of the target protein. Therefore, high-throughput methods for identifying aggregation in the early stages of hit evaluation are necessary to reduce the risk of early drug discovery.

Fig.1 Small molecule aggregation as a mechanism for promiscuous inhibition. (Lidstone, 2011)Fig.1 Small molecule aggregation as a mechanism for promiscuous inhibition. (Lidstone, 2011)

Our Services

To address the problem of aggregation-induced false positive hits in biological screening, we have developed a variety of biophysical methods to help our clients quantify small-molecule aggregation. Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Diameter estimation using dynamic light scattering (DLS) spectroscopy.
  • Enzyme inhibition assay analysis. This assay can be performed with drug candidates to assess their preference for non-specific inhibition via mechanisms including small molecule aggregation.
  • Directly detection of small molecule aggregation on the surface of an optical substance sensor using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and classification of such aggregation.
  • Quantification of small-molecule aggregation in a high throughput fashion by photonic crystal (PC) biosensors.
  • Identification of compound aggregation by resonant waveguide grating (RWG), which is a microplate-based high throughput method.
  • Imaging of small-molecule aggregation on PC biosensors.
  • Measurement of the effect of detergent using PC biosensors.
  • Prediction of small colloidally aggregating molecules (SCAMs) by machine learning methods.

Our Advantages

  • We have state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities to perform biophysical analyses in the drug discovery process.
  • We have a dedicated team of researchers and provide expert consultation as required by our clients.
  • We offer flexibility and can be quickly adapted to suit the changing needs of our clients.

With many years of service experience in the field of biophysical analysis, CD BioSciences has developed a variety of strategies to provide customers with services to identify and quantify small molecule aggregations. Our research experts will provide you with unparalleled research design and implementation, data analysis and professional report writing. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more details.


  1. Lidstone, E. A. Identifying small molecule aggregators with photonic crystal biosensor microplates. 2011.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
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CD BioSciences is a biotechnology company focused on biophysical services. We are proficient in both chemistry and biophysics, and have a comprehensive biophysical platform containing a wide range of advanced technologies.

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