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New Centre of Excellence in Dynamic Single-Molecule Analysis for Accelerated Drug Discovery in collaboration with AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge

Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

Photo Credits: Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

The center will be based around LUMICKS’ C-Trap® optical tweezers–fluorescence microscope, which for the first time enables real-time observation and probing of biomolecular interactions. The approach will be pioneered in several pharmacology and biology assays with the aim of accelerating the discovery of potential new drugs.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – June 27, 2021 –
 – LUMICKS, a world leader in dynamic single-molecule analysis, has partnered with AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) and the University of Cambridge Biochemistry Department to form the ‘Center of Excellence for Dynamic Single-Molecule Analysis for Accelerated Drug Discovery and Biology’, the first of its kind worldwide. As part of the collaboration, a C-Trap® optical tweezers–fluorescence microscope has been installed at the University of Cambridge and will be used by AstraZeneca, University of Cambridge research groups and LUMICKS, to provide new insights in biology and early-stage drug discovery research.

LUMICKS’ technology allows for analysis of complex dynamic details related to the behavior and interaction of single molecules, allowing the center to investigate both the fundamental cause of diseases and potential for drug optimization. This collaboration aims to generate data that will validate the use of dynamic single-molecule technology for biomedical and pharmaceutical research and potential applications for accelerating drug discovery.

Olivier Heyning, CEO of LUMICKS commented: “Establishing the first ever Center of Excellence in Cambridge is an important step in introducing the power of dynamic single-molecule analysis to the biomedical and pharmaceutical research communities. Our tools enable scientists and pharmacologists to analyse the mechanistic details of processes underlying health and disease, with or without a small molecule drug lead being identified. This paves the way for the design of novel, more efficient strategies for highly-targeted drug discovery, and the selection of higher quality drug leads.”

Dr. Geoffrey Holdgate, Principal Scientist, Discovery Sciences at AstraZeneca said: “C-Trap is a unique and powerful tool that could help us unravel precise molecular mechanisms of diseases and the mode of action of lead compounds. We are excited to be the first pharmaceutical company to use this technology and look forward to working with LUMICKS to validate the potential of single molecule analysis to enhance the drug discovery process.”

Professor Luca Pellegrini, Group Leader at the University of Cambridge Biochemistry Department  said: “This is a great opportunity for researchers across the University to explore complex molecular interactions and gain access to novel dynamic single molecule information regarding the workings of important biomolecular processes, especially in relation to the origin of diseases.”

In addition to installing the C-Trap® system, LUMICKS will provide on-site support to center participants, as well as an application scientist who will work with the participants to create standardized and robust single-molecule analysis workflows.


LUMICKS is a leading life science tools company that develops equipment for dynamic single-molecule and cell avidity analysis, two rapidly emerging areas in biology research and immuno-oncology.  LUMICKS’ tools allow researchers to build the crucial and as yet unfinished bridge between structure and function at both a molecular and a cellular level. This is achieved by applying and measuring forces around biological interactions, enabling the detailed real-time analysis of underlying biological mechanisms. LUMICKS’ C-Trap® Optical Tweezers – Fluorescence & Label-free Microscopy, allows scientists to analyze complex biological processes in real-time. Similarly, the z-Movi® Cell Avidity Analyzer enables the measurement and selection of immune cells based on their real-time interactions with target cells.

For more information contact:

Kassandra Barbetsea, media contact

+31 (0) 63 482 09 48

Joshua Young, investor contact

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