Imagen Biotech:  See more than images

Imagen Biotech.  See more than images

Providing high-content analysis (HCA) services to commercial and academic research clients, Imagen Biotech helps to optimise hit-to-lead and early drug discovery investment in biomedical research.


Based in the Manchester Incubator Building, Imagen Biotech was established in 2007. Its founders were former HCA experts in AstraZeneca. Imagen Biotech services are professional, reliable and confidential.

Until relatively recently, cell biology research relied on manual fluorescence microscopy techniques. These methods are capital and time-intensive, subject to sampling biases and user interpretation. This makes fluorescence microscopy a laborious process and often results are not easily repeatable. High content analysis automates the acquisition and interpretation of large numbers of fluorescence images resulting in rapid and comprehensive image analysis, which avoid problems of user bias to enable reliable data-driven decisions to be made.


Rapid and reliable understanding of temporal and spatial changes to cells and their signal transduction pathways is central for cost effective hit-to-lead clinical research. And HCA need not cost the earth. 

Imagen Biotech offers a flexible range of services central to the optimisation and efficiency of early stage drug discovery research.

- Full studies – from cell culture preparation to final reporting and data provision, Imagen Biotech can screen all compound series.

- ‘Staining Only’ option – is an economical solution for companies on tight budgets. Get all our assay and analysis expertise but save 43% on the cost of the full study by providing us with pre-dosed fixed plates.

- New assay development – we can work with you from designing feasibility studies to providing validation results for brand new HCA assays.

- Consultancy – we can advise research teams on how best to maximise HCA techniques.


Imagen Biotech currently serves one major pharmaceutical company as well as several biotechnology companies and an ever-growing number of academic groups.

Tailored high-quality studies with a commitment to continuous innovation in HCA is at the heart of Imagen’s capability. “We have developed one of the most sensitive dual apoptosis assays on the market” says Science Director Gareth Griffiths. “As this assay detects both commitment (N-terminal BAK) and execution (active caspase) phase apoptosis markers, it gives a detailed cell death signature that can differentiate cytotoxic compounds.  By adding an LC3 marker, we get readouts for early apoptosis and autophagy, a high priority target in drug discovery. This new assay opens many exciting possibilities notably in anti-cancer profiling”.

New assay development is a key upstream step to perform efficient and innovative screening. As a biotechnology start-up Imagen Biotech works in collaboration with academic research groups. For managing director Rod Benson, this kind of collaboration is very promising because "academic research endeavours to push the boundaries of cell biology, working with them means that we get to develop new and exciting assays, which we can offer back to industry”.

One of the latest collaborations - a BBSRC funded research project - aims at examining cell therapies for tissue repair/regeneration in collaboration with Keele University and RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital. The interchange will allow Imagen Biotech to further increase its expertise in screening and optimizing cell source in cell and tissue engineering.

In the years to come, Imagen Biotech is planning to develop new screening applications, which Rod Benson is very excited about: “High Content Analysis has a great potential, and hopefully this potential will be translated into further drug discovery improvements.”


Imagen Biotech Ltd
48 Grafton Street, Manchester UK M13 9XX

+44 (0) 161 606 7380