Cell Microarray Technology

Physiological system for detecting ligand-receptor interactions

Identifying precisely how a biological or chemical entity interacts with the human cell is fundamental to furthering our understanding of both normal biological and disease processes as well as revealing the mechanism of action of drugs and their potential for toxicity. Retrogenix’s unique cell microarray technology provides a fast, accurate and effective solution for discovering the human cell surface and secreted protein targets of antibodies, proteins, viruses and small molecules. This allows our global pharmaceutical clients to:

  • overcome the critical deconvolution step in phenotypic drug discovery
  • uncover novel, high quality and exploitable drug targets
  • explore safety liabilities of lead candidates using the most comprehensive human expressed off-target system

Retrogenix’s biologically-relevant system detects specific interactions with a high degree of sensitivity. This unique tool uses proprietary arrays of expression vectors – encoding over 6,200 full-length human plasma membrane and tethered secreted proteins – spotted onto slides. Human cells grown over the top become reverse-transfected resulting in cell surface expression of each respective protein at distinct slide locations. The test molecule is applied and specific binding analysed and confirmed using an appropriate detection system.

Retrogenix cell microarray screening

Large screening library

Inclusion criteria


*Stringent bioinformatics and literature review for each target (quality prioritised over quantity)

Choice of binding conditions

Fixed or unfixed cells

Biological relevance

Human cell environment

Cell surface expressed proteins; relevant post-translational modifications, folding, dimerisation etc.

Versatile detection method

Immuno-fluorescence (variety of labels, tags & secondaries), 3H for small molecules

Hit validation

Three- to four-fold

Cell microarray confirmation (x 2)
& flow cytometry (1 or 2)

Rapid speed

From 3 weeks

False positive rate

Very low

Reliable screening results

Validated results

Published studies include: Nature, Cancer Cell, JBC, SLAS, mAbs, JMC, Nature Medicine & JMB.

Widely used

20 / 20 top pharma, plus more than 200 other clients globally

Versatile Technology

The Retrogenix technology is compatible with a wide range of different ligands. We have successfully screened:

Antibodies and related molecules
mAbs, bispecifics, antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), antibody fragments such as ScFvs, Fabs DARPins and mimetics, Fc-fusion proteins;

Complex ligands
viruses, organelles and whole cells, including CAR T;

Proteins and peptides
directly fluorescently conjugated or tagged proteins (Fc-tagged, biotinylated, Flag-tagged, His-tagged), monomers, multimers, protein-specific secondaries, polyclonal antisera, purified and media supernatants.

Small molecules

Extensive protein collection

Retrogenix has built a high quality library of plasma membrane and secreted proteins for screening ….

More about our library

Proven track record

Our results have been used in many high impact peer-reviewed publications and multiple patent applications, and are regularly presented at international conferences. Our case studies highlight a selection of these projects providing further details on receptor identification, target deconvolution and specificity screening for biotherapeutics such as CAR T cells and antibodies.

Read our case studies

We had a great interaction with the Retrogenix team. Their platform has helped us to identify 4 novel membrane-protein interactions that may prove pivotal to our future research aims.
Dr. Allan Lawrie, University of Sheffield, UK
Simcere logo
Aveo Oncology - The Human Response
Theraclone Sciences
Bluebird Bio
The Center for Infectious Disease Research
Compugen Logo
Sanofi Logo
The University of Copenhagen
Lund University
NIH - National Institutes of Health
The University of Pennsylvania
Scripps Florida - The Scripps Research Institute
Peptinnovate Ltd - Unlocking Nature's Potential
The University of Sheffield
Capella Bioscience Logo
Unum Theraputics Logo
Celyad Logo
Genmab Logo
Molecular Partners Logo
NanoMab Logo