National Drug Discovery Centre

Fast-tracking the latest scientific discoveries into new medicines

The National Drug Discovery Centre enables Australian medical researchers to access the latest in advanced ultra-high throughput screening, addressing a critical early challenge in the drug discovery pipeline.

What we offer

We provide a fully staffed facility with an industry gold-standard robotic screening platform to miniaturise and automate your assay.

Cutting edge automation
Over 500,000 lead-like small molecules
Acoustic dispensing technology
Assay miniaturisation
Full IP ownership
Experienced specialists
National Drug Discovery Centre researcher
Advanced screening technologies at the National Drug Discovery Centre.

Assay capabilities

Our facilities are equipped with two ultra-high throughput robotic platforms for biochemical and cell-based assays. These configurable platforms can support incubation steps and multiple reagent additions, as well as readout options that include whole-plate fluorometric imaging, high-throughput flow cytometry, high-content imaging and multi-mode plate reader screens.

  • High-throughput flow cytometry
  • Whole-plate fluorometric imaging (FLIPR)
  • Time-resolved fluorescence
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescence polarisation
  • Luminescence
  • FRET
  • High-content imaging
  • Absorbance

Assay requirements

Your lab must have hands-on experience running the assay
Your reagents must be stable over the duration of the assay
Your assay must be demonstrated in 96-well format
Your assay must have a robustness > 0.4 and signal-to-background ratio > 2
You must be able to provide project-specific materials such as special cells or recombinant proteins
Your readout technology must be supported


Applicants from Australian research institutes and small-to-medium enterprises may be eligible to apply for an Australian Government-sponsored screening subsidy.

This subsidy reduces the outlay for a standard screening campaign to a small fraction of the actual cost of running it. Subsidised screens will be awarded competitively through bi-annual selection rounds. Successful applications are chosen by an independent panel of drug discovery experts from around Australia.

The charges for a subsidised project vary but would typically be only around $45,000 to screen a library of 300,000 small molecules, provided that the assay can be miniaturised to 1536-well format by our staff.

Researchers who are ineligible to apply for subsidised screens are still encouraged to contact us regarding the possibility of collaborative or contract-based projects.

How to apply for a subsidised screen

To stay up-to-date about future applications for subsidised screens, please get in touch with us to discuss your project. You can also opt-in for occasional emails that will keep you updated on deadlines for future application rounds.

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