Modelling human disease in Drosophila melanogaster for the screening of novel therapeutics.

RxBioscience Drosophila

Drosophila melanogaster have led to the discovery of numerous biological processes and pathways. With approximately 75% conservation with human disease-causing genes, D. melanogaster can be used as a powerful tool to model disease. Our new fly screening service lies between in vitro and preclinical, allowing clients to screen test agents of interest at a low cost in a whole organism.

Our Approach

Working with the client, we first determine which Drosophila lines are a suitable model for the client’s needs. Experiments can then be designed on a per client basis, from small to large scale screens, to narrow down potential candidates in a timely manner. Close contact is maintained with the client throughout, and data is shared in real-time, allowing for a flexible experimental approach.

Model identification and validation

  • Identification of appropriate existing models
  • Experimental design
  • Optimisation and validation of models

Small-scale screening

  • Few compounds can be screened in vials
  • Ideal for testing a few promising candidates

High-throughput plate-based screening

  • 96-well plate format
  • Ideal for screening many compounds and narrowing down potential candidates

Screen analysis


  • High content imaging
  • Live-dead screens
  • Developmental delay/hatching assays
  • LC-MS/MS for exposure quantification
  • Tumour size

Did you know?

Drosophila have been fundamental to many discoveries we as scientists take for granted. Thomas Hunt Morgan began using Drosophila to study heredity in 1910; since then, 6 Nobel prizes have been awarded to 9 Drosophilists. Discoveries include the finding that X-rays can produce mutations, patterning and early embryonic development, and mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms.

Drosophila – A versatile model for drug discovery

Over 100 years of research using Drosophila has led to a vast genetic toolkit. From over-expression, knockdowns, knockouts, and clonal analysis, Drosophila can be used to study a wide variety of human diseases. To find out whether your disease of interest can be modelled in fruit flies, check out the Human Disease section on or send us a query.