Hybrid LC-MS/MS vs Ligand Binding Assays

The KCAS Team will be on-hand in Boston next week during this year’s American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’ annual event, and as we do every year, KCAS will be represented by a subject matter expert during the event who will be presenting as a thought-leader.


This year, KCAS’s Senior Director of Biopharmaceutical LC-MS/MS Services, Dawn Duffield, Ph.D., has been invited to give a presentation on a technology she and her team have helped pioneer over the past decade or so: Hybrid LC-MS/MS. The following is her description of what she plans to present and the format participants can expect next week in Boston during AAPS…



I’m happy to get another opportunity to highlight the benefits of Hybrid LC-MS/MS to an audience of my peers. And this particular presentation will take an interesting format – it’s called a “rapid-fire talk”. This is one of the new formats AAPS is employing this year, and this is the session I have been invited to use. We get between 10 to 15 minutes total, but it’s roughly a 10 minute presentation and I plan to use the time to go through a few select Hybrid LC-MS/MS case studies that highlight specific instances where Hybrid LC-MS/MS would be a good alternative to consider vs a Ligand Binding Assay approach.


As I have been saying the last 10 years or so, when I see people considering the best technology to use for their large molecule bioanalysis development, the first thing they think of is LBA (Ligand Binding Assays). The use of LBA is a fine direction for many projects, but what I have been trying to get out there is that Hybrid LC-MS/MS may very well be an even more ideal technology to use. So these various case studies I plan to present showcase examples of when LBA and/or Hybrid was used, and why one or the other might have been the better choice.


The bottom line is choosing the best technology to answer your particular questions. Making sure you have access to what technologies are available and what each one can do better. It makes sense to do it by a different technology if it is cheaper, faster, quicker or better than the alternative. If it’s not, then doesn’t make sense to switch. It’s really that simple, right? So that’s the whole message behind my “rapid-fire talk”.


The individual case studies will highlight when and why each technology was clearly the better choice. And in fact, one of the case studies will actually show a generic which can truly be done by either Hybrid or LBA, and – depending on the data needs of the client – either approach could work just fine. One of the reasons this is important for clients to consider (even in the case where either technology would serve their data needs) is that the Hybrid technology is faster, especially right now because of capacity and backlog around the industry.


But even more than just the speed, the additional and more granular information Hybrid offers should be considered. Clients seem to very much appreciate our the level of data and communication about the project from our group, even if it was better sensitivity than maybe they “needed” and – in most cases – they even get the data faster. So in those cases, universally it is hands-down the better option.


My goal is to inform anyone who might not have considered Hybrid as an option, to give it consideration. Right now our group is one to two weeks out from getting started on Hybrid projects and we turn them around very quickly from there. Considering that a lot of our competitors are talking lead times of three to six months, it makes Hybrid look like a pretty good option!



Dawn Dufield, Ph.D. will be presenting next week during AAPS’ PharmSci 360 event in Boston, MA. If you would like more information on her presentation or the case studies she will be highlighting, please use the form below to reach out to KCAS.


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