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Screening Services for Pre-Clinical Development of Neuro-Pharmaceuticals and Safety Pharmacology

March 29, 2010

New Electrophysiological Database for the Screening of CNS Drugs

The German company NeuroProof GmbH has developed a database containing the electrophysiological action profiles of over 100 substances. The company...
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NeuroProof GmbH offers screening services which analyse and clarify the complex effects of substances on the function of the brain and the whole central nervous system.

NeuroProofs leading technology of primary neuronal cell cultures on microelectrode array (MEA) neurochips and sophisticated methods of data analysis is a major step forward in target validation, which remains as one of the bottlenecks in drug discovery. It closes the gap between the molecular and the physiological level.

High content analysis in vitro technology

The company’s expertise is a high content analysis in vitro technology that improves the development of new CNS pharmaceuticals through the precise assessment of neuronal activity function. NeuroProof combines technologies into a powerful and efficient biomonitoring tool for preclinical drug research:

  • MEA-neurochip
  • Brain-region-specific primary embryonic neuronal network cultures
  • Pattern recognition and classification methods

The outcomes provide detailed insights with early predictions of beneficial or neurotoxic effects.

The effect of potential drug candidates on the CNS and possible neuro-toxic effects can be predicted early by studying behavior changes in a functional network, those posses the temporal resolution of cell-assembly cooperation. Thus it is possible to considerably accelerate the preclinical development of CNS drugs and to cut down the attrition rate.

Brain-region specific nervous tissue taken from fetal mice is physiologically accessible during differentiation and up to several months after maturation. MEA-neurochip simultaneously records multiple spike train patterns of action potentials of numerous single neurons coupled in a complex network. A co-culture of different neuronal and glial cell types enables the physiological relevance and provides a technology well suited for the discovery of unknown effects.

Proprietary procedures of pattern recognition are applied for a multiparametric data analysis. Thus, the effects of CNS drug candidates can be examined directly, which was not possible before. A high reproducibility of data is assured, for example, a same substance can be identified by its inducing specific activity changes even after years.

Recordings from neuronal network cultures on microelectrode arrays are highly sensitive biosensors:

  • Monitoring of electrical action potential activity
  • Recording of activity patterns of up to 256 individual neurons
  • High reproducibility and small variability
  • Functional screening of neuroactivity and toxicity
  • A broad dynamic range of activity changes induced by a substance
  • Revealing properties for new and unknown modes of action (e.g. on ionotropic and metabotropic receptors)

Pattern Recognition Methods

  • Precise and extensive profiling of neuroactive pharmaceuticals
  • Substance database for fast recovering of mechanisms of action

Molecular biological studies of primary neuronal network cultures for validation needs

  • Western Blotting
  • Fluorescence Microscopy

Off the shelf service packages

  • NeuroProof is actually the only company which offers testing services with primary network cultures on MEA-neurochips
  • Standardised experimental protocols and services provide a maximum of result at attractive conditions
  • Multiparametric analysis to characterise the electrophysiological effects
  • Precise dose-response curves with EC values
  • Comparisons with our substance database deliver essential facts for your drug development

Customised solutions

  • Individual solution for your research topic and indication
  • Special solutions with brain region specific cultures and/or transgenic mouse models
  • Specific experiment designs or chronic treatment studies

NeuroProof GmbH has an attractive record of reference projects and the company is partner in several international research projects.

NeuroProof GmbH
Friedrich-Barnewitz-Straße 4
18119 Rostock, Germany

Dr Olaf Schroeder
Managing Director
Tel: +49 (38) 154 345 660
Fax: +49 (38) 154 34 661

CRO Services

Cell cultures of neuronal networks can be cultivated successfully only by applying very high quality standards. We are always up to this high mark with our professional team. Validating our results with quantitative pattern-recognition methods ensures their extraordinary precision and reproducibility.

Our screening services meet high ethical standards as there is no need for animal experiments. Standardised service packages at attractive conditions Standardised tests provide an optimum of information for our customers. Further, the comparison with our substance data base quickly furnishes important references to your test substances. Precise dose-effect curves assure conclusions about a potential…

Isobolographic Analysis

Drug interactions.

The effect of the combination of several drugs or substances which have neurotoxic effects can be activated, synergistic, or even alleviated antagonistic. The combination of drugs with alcohol or barbiturates is a particularly well known example of such combination effects. Adjunctions are often applied to CNS diseases. The quantitative determination of these effects is very…


Clarification of mechanisms of actions for neuro-active substances.

NeuroProof technology allows an accelerated clarification of effect mechanism of neuro-active drugs. Pharmalogical tests (mechanisms test for determining the place of action, tissue-specificity test, KD-test), toxicity tests (EC50-acute, EC50-chronic) are offered as well as tests which aim at specific disease models. For the latter, electrophysiological parameters are collected multi-parametrically by default. The specifically influenced parameters…

Optimisation of Potential Drugs in Medicinal Chemistry

Development of customer-specific target parameters.

NeuroProof technology can precisely measure functional parameters, which describe those activity patterns induced by substances. Thus it is possible to differentially compare substances with regard to these target patterns. This is a huge advantage if one intends to optimise markers using methods of medicinal chemistry. Based on our substance data base, optimal functional parameters can…

Screening of Phyto-Pharmaceuticals

Functional screening in traditional medicine.

There are many popular herbal drugs that are traditionally recognised as psychoactive. Although for many of these herbal drugs there is a growing amount of modern clinical data to substantiate their psychoactive properties, there exists very little evidence of the pharmacological mode of action of many of them. However, such studies are necessary in order…


BSL BIOSERVICE performs toxicology studies and has been establishing a wide range of in vitro and in vivo study designs to evaluate the safety of substances.

In Vitro Toxicology StudiesOver the past BSL BIOSERVICE has offered a broad scope of in vitro tests resulting in a fundamental pool of historical data. Test systems are conducted under GLP compliance and meet the regulatory requirements for the safety testing of new drugs or chemicals. Furthermore, the company is well prepared to approach safety…
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