Working with “difficult” cells

Why do clients turn to Sanquin PBS when faced with difficult cells?

Sanquin PBS can assess whether drug candidates affect certain types of cells and help determine their method of action, even cells that are “difficult” to work with.  A variety of assay types are available, such as phospho-flow cytometry, Treg inhibition assays, and basophil activation assays.

Neutrophils are an example of important but “difficult” cells. Although they are a crucial part of the immune response, neutrophils are tough to work with: they cannot be cultured, are readily activated during isolation, and die quickly. With over 40 years of experience working with this cell type, Sanquin PBS has optimized the workflow and is therefore able to study all aspects of neutrophils, from phagocytosis, degranulation, and NETosis to migration, cytokine release, and apoptosis.

For instance, together with prominent biotechnology company, Sanquin PBS assessed whether their drug discovery candidates had an effect on neutrophils. Sanquin PBS advised on the study’s scope and approach, such as which compounds would be tested and in which concentration range. The partners then determined the read-out, discussed the most relevant time intervals between the various steps in the test, and decided which positive and negative controls to use.

After completing the research, Sanquin PBS not only reported the findings but also evaluated and interpreted these results, so that the client received meaningful answers. Sanquin PBS suggested and performed new assays, which then confirmed the hypothesis. Following the study and the result interpretation, the company was able to decide on the appropriate follow-up steps at an early stage of drug development.