Two Swiss start-ups pave a new way to cancer drugs

19.04.2018 11:52
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LeadXpro and InterAx have both developed new approaches for drug discovery. New immune oncology drug molecules are expected to result from their partnership.

LeadXpro is a lead discovery company applying state of the art biophysical methods. The start-up capitalizes on our knowledge and experience in membrane protein structural biology and on the facilities of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), with access to the 3rd generation synchrotron SLS and the Free Electron Laser SwissFEL. Core expertise beyond X-ray includes single particle electron microscopy (cryo EM) and electron diffraction (ED).

InterAx has built a unique drug discovery platform for identification of functionally optimized drugs with improved efficacy and reduced side effects for the largest class of human receptors: The G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The discovery platform consists of three core assets: Virtual screening, state-of-the-art cell-based signaling assays including IP-protected protein-based biosensors, and mathematical modelling for identification of most informative drug screening assays and prediction of in vivo effects.

In a new partnership, the two companies aim to identify lead compounds targeting certain G-protein coupled receptors that are involved in cancer. Their complex biology so far has hampered previous lead discovery efforts.

“Structure-based drug discovery in combination with cell-based kinetic measurement is a powerful approach to unlock GPCR targets and guide compound design and optimization. We are very pleased to see encouraging cellular activity with compounds resulting from leadXpro’s discovery platform”, explains Sandra Markovic, Discovery project leader at leadXpro. “We aim to identify and optimize lead compounds with superior chemical and biological properties with unprecedented efficiency”, says Maria Waldhoer, CSO at InterAx. Both companies are based at the Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare.

(Press release - SK)

Picture: Fotolia / Rybindmitryi

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