AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora announced Tuesday the addition of new technology that researchers say could cut the screening time for new drug therapies in half.

Researchers say the new robotic screening and imaging technology could speed up the development of treatments for COVID, cancer or other diseases, while putting Colorado on the map in this field.

“Similar technologies exist on the coasts in academic institutions, but nothing in this region,” said Dr. David Ross, an associate dean at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

He and his colleagues say the machine can take a library with thousands of compounds and quickly screen them against targets in a disease.

“If the disease model took two weeks to screen, we can now screen it in a couple of days,” said Dr. Dan LaBarbera, a researcher who will be using the equipment.

That speed could assist in the development of new therapies for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more.

“With this machine we can assist in the development of new therapies against COVID targets,” said Ross.

A new Center for Drug Discovery will be created at CU Anschutz and will focus on speeding up the research into new drugs and therapies.

Researchers say they are excited. 

“It allows us to do innovative drug discovery right here in Colorado that rivals that of the big pharmaceutical companies,” LaBarbera said.

The technology is expected on campus by early next year. It was funded by the ALSAM Foundation.

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