Individually the component technologies of the companies – Biolauncher, Isogenica and Cresset – have been used in over 170 drug discovery projects to date and the companies have previously raised funding for related work in an individual capacity. Now though, they have the means to prove the technologies in an integrated system.
The idea is to identify small molecules active against drug targets using very large peptide libraries to explore chemical space. It is hoped they will then be able to demonstrate a scalable platform that answers some of the key challenges of early drug discovery by providing a rapid and cost-effective solution.
"What's changed since the Human Genome Project is we tend to know of more targets, but not about fundamental mechanisms," said Rowan Gardner of Biolauncher, also in charge of the consortium's business development activity. "In the past we would know a lot more about a target."
The integrated system will use Isogenica's libraries to select a population of diverse binding peptides against a biological target. These peptides will be analysed using novel structural bioinformatics already developed by Biolauncher to identify their active conformation.
This three-dimensional template will then be used to generate a field based pharmacophore that Cresset will use to identify small molecule drug-like medicinal chemistry starting points.
Gardner added that the group would be looking for people with targets to develop with the new integrated platform within the next three months.
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