Validation of the 96 well Caco-2 cell culture model for high throughput permeability assessment of discovery compounds


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Abstract

The use of Caco-2 cells for permeability screening of discovery compounds is quite well established and serves as the “method-of-choice” across the pharmaceutical industries worldwide. The typical permeability-screening model involves growing cells on a 12 well or 24 well transwell format. In this manuscript, we report the use of Caco-2 cells grown on 96 well transwell plates for screening of discovery compounds to assess their permeability characteristics. A set of standard compounds (marketed compounds) belonging to the various class of Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) were used to assess the utility of the 96 well Caco-2 cells. Extensive validations were also performed with ∼160 Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) discovery compounds by comparing the permeability values in the 96 well Caco-2 cells with the in-house 24 well Caco-2 cells. Functional Caco-2 cells with intact monolayers could be established in the 96 well format using optimized seeding and culturing conditions. The permeability of BCS compounds in the 96 well format was found to be comparable to the permeability in 24 well format. Similarly, there was very good correlation (R2 = 0.93) between the two formats for the extensive validation performed with in-house discovery compounds. The validated 96 well Caco-2 cell system presents a very attractive permeability screening tool that can perform much more efficiently than the conventional 12 well or 24 well systems while providing the same high quality permeability screening data.

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