HPLC systems are being increasingly popular for use in life science research, drug development, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a highly accurate method for examining the components of chemical mixtures. The outlook for the industry in the United States is particularly positive, with market share projected to grow from $3.23 billion in 2016 to $4.13 billion in 2021.1 This recent report suggests that market growth over the next five years will primarily come from the life science, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic industries.
Now is a a great time for life science organizations to invest in HPLC technology. As the demand for HPLC systems increases in the life science industry, manufacturers are looking to develop systems that are tailored to the needs of life science research and manufacturing organizations. When bringing an HPLC system into a lab, it can be helpful to pair it with modern automation software.
Using HPLC for Drug Development
Drug developers and manufacturers in the United States are increasingly using HPLC technology in the multiple stages of the drug development process. Consider the following uses for HPLC systems:
- Identifying drug candidates. HPLC makes it possible to separate and distinguish between chemicals in plant compounds. This can help drug developers identify components of herbal remedies that have been shown to treat disease, and to isolate the relevant components so that they may be included in a pharmaceutical drug.
- Testing the effectiveness of drugs. HPLC technology can be used to evaluate the chemical content of tissue samples after they are treated with a candidate drug. The results can indicate whether or not a drug is effectively blocking or enabling a particular cellular process.
- Determining drug release time and bioavailability. When developing a new drug formulation, ensuring optimum release time is critical. It can also be helpful to have an understanding of the bioavailability of a particular drug, in order to determine adequate dosage levels. During the development process, HPLC experiments can be run on tissue samples at specific time points, after taking a drug to measure release time and absorption levels.2
- Evaluating manufacturing process quality. As researchers develop the initial manufacturing process or scale it up for mass production, it is essential to ensure the quality of every batch of a drug that is produced. By analyzing the final products with HPLC, manufacturers can verify the content of their drug products.3
- Guaranteeing government compliance. Drug regulatory standard in the United States and abroad are becoming increasingly stringent. One way for life science companies to make sure that a drug they are trying to bring to market complies with all regulations is to test it using HPLC. Indeed, many governmental bodies are now using HPLC to assess product content, so labs that have their own HPLC systems won’t get any surprises.
HPLC for Disease Diagnosis and Modeling
HPLC technology can also be used for clinical diagnosis. Especially when trying to diagnose endocrine and exocrine gland disorders, HPLC can be helpful for analyzing body secretions. Specifically, the HPLC experiments can be run to accurately estimate the quantities of purines, pyrimidines, and other metabolites in plasma, cerebrospinal fluid and urine samples, which can indicate particular medical conditions.
HPLC can also be helpful for life science research organizations that are looking to develop more effective disease models. With HPLC, researchers can determine whether a particular genetic mutation or pharmaceutical treatment is truly mimicking a disease process, based on the levels of different chemicals in body fluids.
Considering the Costs of Investing in HPLC
There’s no doubt that HPLC can provide significant advantages for disease researchers, drug developers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, but many life science organizations are concerned about the high cost of investment—including both up-front costs and the long-term requirements for maintaining and managing the system. One way to deal with the latter challenge is to adopt a software system that can automate routine calibration and maintenance workflows. That way, companies can avoid the expense of hiring a tech to maintain the HPLC, and they won’t have to contend with the loss of valuable research time when regular lab members have to add manual HPLC maintenance tasks to their list of things to do.
BIOVIA Metrology is a lab automation system that can automate traditional paper, manual, and semi-automated tasks that are needed for the upkeep of a wide range of lab instruments, including HPLC systems. Contact us today for more information about this software and our other offerings that can help streamline lab management at your life science organization!
- “High-performance Liquid Chromatography Market by Product, Consumables, and Accessories, Application,” March 2, 2017, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/high-performance-liquid-chromatography-market-by-product-consumables-and-accessories-application—analysis–global-forecast-to-2021-300417401.html ↩
- “HPLC Applications: In Diagnosis, Research, Pharma, and Industry,” 2017, http://www.rajaha.com/application-hplc-pharmaceutical-industry/ ↩
- “HPLC for Pharmaceutical Sciences,” 2007, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470087954.fmatter/pdf ↩