Learn more about PRISM

Explore the PRISM assay, learn more about our technology, and discover how you can collaborate with us.

The PRISM Assay

Background and history

Profiling Relative Inhibition Simultaneously in Mixtures (PRISM) is a unique, novel technology that enables the rapid screening of thousands of drugs against over 900 human cancer cell line models using a high-throughput, multiplexed approach.

PRISM was first conceptualized by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in 2012 and scaled into a high-throughput screening platform in 2015. Since then, the PRISM team has screened over 30,000 drugs with over 500 cell lines, and worked with 200+ collaborators from academia, biotech, and big pharma.

First publication of the PRISM method from 2016. 102 cell lines were labeled with unique 24-nucleotide barcodes and used to screen 8400 compounds.

Read our publication

An updated panel of 578 barcoded cancer cell lines were used to profile the activity of 4518 existing drugs. Results were used to begin the PRISM drug repurposing resource.

Read our publication

The PRISM assay workflow

Cell line barcoding and pool preparation The PRISM assay uses over 900 human cancer cell lines with deep multi-omic characterization.

Cell lines were stably transfected with unique DNA barcodes and quality control tested prior to use in the PRISM assay to:

  • Verify the absence of mycoplasma
  • Verify cell line identity with SNP fingerprinting
  • Confirm unique 24-nucleotide cell line barcode identities

Cell lines are mixed into assay-ready pools of 20-25 cell lines based on doubling time similarity. Pools of cell lines are then frozen so they can be easily thawed for screening.