Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Breakthrough for More Efficient Drug Development

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Last Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2011
Bookmark and Share
Developing new drugs is a highly costly and time-consuming process. Of 20 candidates, 19 are normally rejected because they don’t work or have unwanted side effects. Now a research team led by Professor Lars Baltzer at Uppsala University has produced a tiny molecular “binder” that has the potential to change this landscape radically.

The study, published today in the prestigious journal Angewandte Chemie, presents the concept of a tiny polypeptide consisting of 42 amino acids to which virtually any target-seeking organic molecule can be bound. In the body it then seeks out the designated sites to be treated. What’s unique about the polypeptide is that it dramatically enhances the properties of the little molecule in a simple and very general way.

This produces superbinders. They bind more strongly and more specifically than other alternatives, says Lars Baltzer, professor of organic chemistry, who believes it will be possible to rapidly develop new drugs much more readily with this new concept.

The whole concept goes against the grain of what is usually done in drug development. Traditionally it’s usually a matter of synthesizing drugs from A to Z, with certain requirements needing to be met in order to succeed. Drugs should be low molecular (500 Da), be highly fat soluble, and have no more than ten binding sites in order to pass through the cell membrane. But the majority are ineffective or toxic, and nowadays there are also ways to get larger molecules through cell membranes. Recently therapeutic antibodies have emerged as an alternative. They’re large (150,000 Da) and bind to the outside of cells, which they then “block.”

The new peptide is 5,000 Da or only 1/30 as large as a typical antibody, which is smaller than was thought possible. But according to Lars Baltzer nature has always signaled that this should work.

The human growth factor hGH uses 35 amino acids to bind to its receptor, but it turns out that only six of them are critical. The rest can be replaced without significantly changing the function. There’s really nothing very special about placing a general peptide on a small molecule, but nobody has done it before, he says.

In this study the peptide was successfully bound to the inflammation marker CRP, which is an indicator of a risk of premature death in heart patients, among other things. Several other studies are underway and are proving to be equally successful.

These findings are of great importance to industry, and several large companies have shown their interest. The spin-out company that was previously formed out of Baltzer’s research team is now going to further develop the concept to be able to help the drug industry determine at a considerably earlier stage than today whether a drug candidate is worth pursuing or not.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Cytoskeleton Crew
Findings confirm sugar's role in helping cancers survive by changing cellular architecture.
Biomarker for Recurring HPV-Linked Oropharyngeal Cancers
A look-back analysis of HPV infection antibodies in patients treated for oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers linked to HPV infection suggests at least one of the antibodies could be useful in identifying those at risk for a recurrence of the cancer, say scientists at the Johns Hopkins University.
Valvena, GSK Sign New R&D Collaboration
Valneva to supply process development services for EB66® -based Influenza vaccines.
Light Signals from Living Cells
Fluorescent protein markers delivered under high pressure.
Cellular 'Relief Valve'
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved a long-standing mystery in cell biology by showing essentially how a key “relief-valve” in cells does its job.
Genomic Signature Shared by Five Types of Cancer
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer.
Cat Stem Cell Therapy Gives Humans Hope
By the time Bob the cat came to the UC Davis veterinary hospital, he had used up most of his nine lives.
Crowdfunding the Fight Against Cancer
From budding social causes to groundbreaking businesses to the next big band, crowdfunding has helped connect countless worthy projects with like-minded people willing to support their efforts, even in small ways. But could crowdfunding help fight cancer?
New Biomarker to Assess Stem Cells Developed
A research team led by scientists from UCL have found a way to assess the viability of 'manufactured' stem cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The team's discovery offers a new way to fast-track screening methods used in stem cell research.
A Better Model for Parkinson's
Scientists at EPFL solve a longstanding problem with modeling Parkinson’s disease in animals. Using newfound insights, they improve both cell and animal models for the disease, which can propel research and drug development.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!