Leading Drug Discovery through Biophysical Assays

In the pursuit of novel therapeutics, biophysical assays are relied upon in order to access potential drug-target interactions to advance drug discovery. Traditional drug screening, often lacking specificity and precision, fails to identify promising compounds. In contrast, biophysical assays provide a detailed characterization of molecular interactions, enabling researchers to prioritize drug candidates with higher chances of success.

Types of Biophysical Assays:

Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)

SPR is a high-throughput technique that measures the kinetics of biomolecular interactions, including those of fragments & small molecules. The Gold Standard of biophysics.

Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC) & Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

ITC is a truly label-free, steady-state technique to directly determine the thermodynamic parameters of biomolecular interactions. An excellent orthogonal complement to SPR.

Bio-Layer Interferometry (BLI)

BLI is a high-throughput kinetic screening technique that can measure biomolecular interactions of proteins, peptides, and nucleic acids in complex matrices and without microfluidics.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

NMR spectroscopy can be used for both biosimilar comparability & QC, in addition to fragment screening and affinity titration studies.

Plate-Based Assays

Ichor has the capability to conduct a variety of quantitative plate based assays, including ELISAs and various fluorescence experiments (e.g. FRET & anisotropy).

Applications of Biophysical Assays

Biophysical assays find extensive applications in various areas of research and industry, playing a crucial role understanding biological interactions and are extensively used in drug discovery, structural biology, and biotechnology, some of the key applications of biophysical assays include:

Target Validation:

Prior to investing resources in developing drugs to target a specific biomolecule, confirmation of the chose target is needed, in order to know if it is relevant and likely to produce the desired therapeutic effects. Biophysical assays are key in the validation process, through providing insights into the interactions and properties of the target biomolecule.

Lead Optimization:

Optimisation of lead compounds is completed via biophysical assays, the study of binding kinetics allows crucial decisions on chemical modifications, that enhances drug potency, selectivity, and stability.

Drug Discovery:

Biophysical assays are utilized for identifying and validating potential drug targets, prioritizing lead compounds, and optimising interaction with target biomolecules, accelerating the drug discovery process, and increasing the chance of discovering effective and safe therapeutics.

Mechanism of Action:

Through our biophysical assays, you can investigate the molecular pathways involved in drug-target interactions, enabling the optimization of the drug’s safety and efficacy, along with how it exerts therapeutic effects.

Molecular Interaction Mapping:

Access to biomolecular techniques such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and X-Ray Crystallography, which map molecular interactions at an atomic resolution, this provides detailed structural information, guiding the design of small molecules or peptides that disrupt specific interactions.

Our speciality in biophysical assays is SPR!

Assay development, high-throughput fragment and small molecule screening, & kinetic or affinity characterization

We have state of the art Biacore 8K/8K+ SPR systems

  • High-throughput SPR screening: kinetic screening & characterization
  • Clean, binding level, & affinity screens
  • Epitope binning
  • Concentration & potency analysis
  • Personal one on one discussion of data and results with a Ph.D. scientist; we stand by our data

Assay development & Target Validation: Feasibility and full control characterization

Fast turnaround, most projects are initiated within 1-2 weeks upon receipt of materials.

Full ownership, client retains full ownership of all raw and processed data and is entitled to Excel exports and a PowerPoint presentation of data and results.


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Biacore 8K & 8K+ SPR systems

What’s better than a Biacore 8K? A Biacore 8K+!


ForteBio Octet RED384

Biomolecular interaction analysis without the microfluidics.


Molecular Devices SpectraMax i3x

Our temperature controlled plate reader is equipped with an automated high-throughput StakMax and can work with 96- or 384-well plates in absorbance, fluorescence, or chemiluminescent read modes.


TA Instruments nano-ITC & nano-DSC

The nano-series instruments only require a fraction of the protein quantity that earlier models consumed.

Bruker 800_2

Bruker AVANCE III HD 800 MHz with TCI Cryoprobe

Whether you are looking for biosimilarity comparisons, high-throughput fragment screening, isotopically enriched protein production, or NMR consultants; we have what you are looking for!


Client satisfaction is our measure of success

Ankyra logo

“Ichor helped us develop a custom binding assay that was critical for selection and optimization of our lead molecule. Throughout the process, the Ichor team was highly collaborative and flexible and provided high quality data in a timely manner”

– Ankyra Therapeutics

Our biophysics projects have fast turnaround times

Most biophysics projects start within 2 weeks of receipt of materials.


Please reach out to us with any questions or comments regarding our biophysical assays, we are here to help you.

PhD level scientists manage all of our projects, which typically commence within 1-2 weeks after receipt of all test articles, samples, reagents, and consumables, we take pride in our work, and pay attention to details during the executions. At the end of your project, all data and reagents are yours, and you can expect to receive a PowerPoint slide deck containing all relevant conditions and data as a project deliverable, in addition to all raw data.

Our view of customer service demands that all projects, including biophysical assays, receive the dedicated attention, research, and scoping they deserve to be properly and fully quoted and executed at the highest scientific standards. We also believe in being respectful of everyone’s time. We therefore require all prospective clients to attend a brief teleconference to discuss their projects before a quote can be issued. Out quotes are custom-built and tailored to your specific project.

No project is too small for us. We are here to help solve your problems and we see ourselves as your lab down the hall.

We publish our own research:


Kinetics of the multitasking high-affinity Win binding site of WDR5 in restricted and unrestricted conditions


Convergent Alterations of a Protein Hub Produce Divergent Effects within a Binding Site


Interplay of Affinity and Surface Tethering in Protein Recognition


RPtag as an Orally Bioavailable, Hyperstable Epitope Tag and Generalizable Protein Binding Scaffold

We develop our own tools:


SBIR Phase I:

Development of an Optical Biosensor to Facilitate Screening, Validation, and Development of Novel Drugs and their Biological Targets

RPtag Capture:

NSF Award # 2129469 via Ichor portfolio company, Auctus Biologics, Inc.