Is the next life-changing drug waiting to be analyzed in your laboratory?

Jun 24, 2024 | Blogs, Echo MS, Pharma | 0 comments

Read time: 3 minutes

In drug discovery laboratories, there is often a need to generate trusted analytical data on hundreds of thousands of drug candidates to allow confident decisions to be made. Sample prep, instrument run time, and data processing are all challenges that must be overcome.

With the option to combine the automation of sample preparation and integrated data processing, the Echo® MS+ system can address these challenges, opening up the ability to collect reliable mass spectrometric data at up to 1 sample per second. Curious to know more about what is possible and how it is possible? Uncover the secret here, and watch the video. Uncover the Secret: Sample Every Second with SCIEX Echo® MS+ system (

What is possible in drug discovery assays?

As scientists, we need to see the data to be convinced. Aaron Stella, Research and Development Scientist at SCIEX, designed an experiment to show real-time measurements of the hydrolysis of codeine-6-glucuronide. He used the Beckman Coulter Life Sciences Biomek i7 automated liquid handler to prepare and perform a kinetic study before transferring the samples to the Echo® MS+ system with ZenoTOF 7600 system to quantify the analytes of interest.

Figure 6: Rate of codeine production from the 50 ng/ml (green) and the 250 ng/ml (dark blue) codeine-6-glucuronide samples

In this study, Aaron demonstrated:

  • A 1-hour kinetic study was pipetted, incubated, and agitated in a reaction plate on the Biomek i7 automated platform
  • Analysis of free codeine at 10-minute time intervals with high quantitative sensitivity
  • Samples were analyzed at a rate of 5-seconds per sample without disrupting the timing of the kinetic study
  • Calibration curves for the primary and secondary codeine transitions were linear from 10-250 ng/mL with r2 > 0.995

To learn more about Aaron’s work, the full article can be found here:

An automated, real-time measurement of kinetic hydrolysis of glucuronide, utilizing the Echo® MS+ system with ZenoTOF 7600 system – An automated, real-time measurement of the kinetic hydrolysis of a glucuronide using the Echo® MS+ system with ZenoTOF 7600 system (

Another example of how the Echo MS+ system could support analysis as part of the drug discovery process, GSK used the Echo® MS system to develop a biochemical assay in their laboratory. While this isn’t the latest system, the same experiment could be done on the Echo® MS+ system. The technical note Development of an acetylcholinesterase biochemical assay using the SCIEX Echo® MS system concluded:

  • The Echo MS system produced highly sensitive and reproducible results for both standard curves and biochemical assay development experiments
  • Method development for the Echo MS system was highly efficient; low sampling volume requirements for optimization and no need to implement multiple solvent systems or sample clean-up before MS ejection
  • Quick analysis time (<2 seconds per sample) and lack of carryover on the Echo® MS system reduced overall plate analysis time to 10 minutes

 How is it possible?

The Echo® MS+ system uses acoustic ejection mass spectrometry (AEMS) technology. Samples are placed into a compatible well plate in the Echo® MS+ system’s autosampler. Here sound energy is applied to the bottom of each well individually. The sound energy causes reproducible droplets to be ejected from the well for capture in a carrier solvent of the OPI for dilution and transfer to the mass spectrometer’s source. From this point, the diluted sample is ionized using conventional electrospray ionization, ready for detection.

System features

If you would like to know more about the Echo® MS+ system, learn more here about its capabilities for your research, or contact us.

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Kirsten Craven is the Senior Global Marketing Manager for Pharma global strategic marketing at SCIEX. In this role, she manages strategic marketing for the pharmaceutical industry. Kirsten spent the first part of her career working in laboratories across multiple industries before moving into product management, and most recently pharma marketing.


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