Isogenica and Biolauncher, Cambridge UK together with Cresset Group, Welwyn Garden City UK announce funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, for a £1M project to develop a highly-scalable approach to small molecule drug discovery.
The funding enables the consortium to develop an integrated platform to identify diverse small molecules active against drug targets using very large peptide libraries to explore chemical space. The consortia’s objective is to demonstrate that this platform provides a new scalable approach to the early stage drug discovery challenges that is rapid, cost effective and applicable to intracellular, extracellular and membrane bound drug targets.
The process 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 be used to generate a field based pharmacophore that Cresset will use to identify small molecule drug-like medicinal chemistry starting points. Individually the component technologies have been used in over 170 drug discovery projects to date.
“The diversity of the chemical libraries in corporate collections can be quite limited and so the percentage of chemical space represented is small. Isogenica’s peptide libraries are designed to be structurally very diverse and sample a much greater volume of chemical space. Also, in addition to acting as a structural template, there is a high probability of finding binding peptides which have immediate utility as reagents for probing the target biology and supporting the drug development process” commented Rowan Gardner, who is leading the consortia’s Business Development activity.
“By working with diverse populations of binding peptides it is possible to determine which residues are contributing to the binding and infer their active conformations. Coupling Isogenica’s massive screening libraries with Cresset’s small molecule bioisostere discovery tools offer the possibility to bridge biologics directly into small molecule chemistry” added Kevin Mathews, CEO of Isogenica.
Notes to Editors
Isogenica specialises in the discovery and optimisation of therapeutic and diagnostic peptides, proteins and antibodies using its proprietary technology, CIS display. Founded in 2000, Isogenica has developed a unique capability in the field of protein engineering. Isogenica’s CIS display technology is an in vitro display technology that allows the rapid generation of polypeptide and antibody libraries from which it is possible to select lead molecules with high affinity and specificity for most targets. www.isogenica.breathetechnology.com
Cresset was formed in 2002 using the basic research of our founder Dr Andy Vinter to introduce a new virtual screening technology. Over the last decade our technology has been widely adopted throughout the drug discovery and agrochemical industries. At the same time our product suite has grown to encompass desktop and enterprise level solutions. Currently our customers include many of the top 20 pharamaceutical companies, large and small biotechs across the USA, Europe and Japan, agrochemical companies as well as top academics. www.cresset-group.com
Biolauncher was founded as an advisory firm based in Cambridge, UK specialising in providing services to grow life science businesses. The company has leveraged its expertise in accessing non-dilutive funding to develop proprietary novel informatics and analytics systems to enable the use of information to drive efficiency in life science R&D. The principals have a significant track record of raising capital and developing platform technologies to enhance pharmaceutical research and development. www.biolauncher.com
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency and works to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org. The grant for this project was awarded through the Technology Strategy Board’s £20m ‘Technology Inspired Innovation’ competition for research and development funding.