National Drug Discovery Centre

Our facilities

The National Drug Discovery Centre features the latest in robotic high-throughput screening technologies with a highly modular system that can be customised according to project needs.

Our platforms

Our lab is equipped with two ultra-high throughput robotic platforms for both biochemical and cell-based assays. These configurable platforms can support diverse assay readout technologies, including high-throughput flow cytometry, high-content imaging, whole-plate fluorometric imaging and traditional plate-reader screens.


We have five types of readers, which can be docked to a robotic platform or used independently.

  • High-content imaging: PerkinElmer Opera Phenix confocal imaging system with high-throughput by simultaneous acquisition
  • Multi-mode microplate reader: BMG PHERAstar FSX
  • Automated FACS: Intellicyt iQue Screener PLUS automated flow cytometry for phenotypic screens
  • Whole-plate fluorometric imaging: FLIPR Penta high-throughput cellular screening system
  • Acoustic ejection mass spectrometry: SCIEX Echo MS System

Compound librararies

We offer users access to a diverse screening collections containing more than 500,000 high-quality and lead-like small molecules.

We also welcome users who wish to provide their own libraries or source alternative collections. Compounds Australia also has a diverse range of compound collections that can be plated in HTS format and used for your screen.

Assay capabilities

We can screen for a very large diversity of target classes. We can advise on suitable assay technologies or develop a protocol that is suitable for high throughput screening. Users provide their own assay protocol and specific materials, such as cell lines or proteins. If your assay has already been demonstrated in 96-well format and meets minimum robustness, signal-to-background and component-stability requirements, our expert staff will miniaturise and adapt it to run on our high-throughput platform.

Drug repurposing screens

Drug repurposing can appear as an attractive strategy to uncover new therapeutic indications for already developed medicines. However, it is important to understand the limitations and challenges of this approach and why it is often not the best strategy to develop drugs for your disease of interest.

For an in-depth review on this topic by a network of Australian scientific leaders, see:

Begley et al. Drug repurposing: Misconceptions, challenges, and opportunities for academic researchers, 2021 Science Translational Medicine

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