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Collection of High-Content Assays in Human Cells

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Odyssey Thera, Inc. has announced the establishment of the collection of high-content assays in human cells, enabling high-throughput drug discovery on an unprecedented scope of targets.

The collection includes hundreds of discrete assays. Each assay is designed to probe a particular signaling node within a cellular pathway.

The signaling nodes are probed with assays that measure the dynamic interactions of proteins that regulate cellular homeostasis and disease, as well as the effects of hormones, drugs, and toxicants on human cells.

By measuring pathway activity, Odyssey Thera is able to determine drug activity and safety directly in living human cells.

Odyssey Thera's core technology, which is known as PCA (protein-fragment complementation assays), enables the creation of high-content assays that quantify and localize these molecular interactions within the sub-cellular compartments of living cells.

The assay collection includes signaling proteins and targets that reside in the cell membrane, cytoplasm, mitochondria, and nucleus.

Well-known and drug target classes, including G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), nuclear hormone receptors, kinases, proteases, ligases, heat shock proteins, and transcription factors, are represented in the collection.

Dr. John K. Westwick, Chief Scientific Officer of Odyssey Thera, said, "The vast majority of modern drug discovery is performed on isolated proteins in a test tube."

"However, the ultimate activity of a drug within complex cellular networks cannot be predicted from test tube studies, a fact that is reflected in the high costs and low productivity of pharmaceutical research."

"At Odyssey Thera we are seeing drug and target action directly in living human cells; in essence, letting human cells do the work of reporting on drug activity and safety."

"I am particularly proud of the unprecedented diversity and depth of our assays."

"In addition to creating assays for well-known targets, our scientists have engineered assays for a large number of therapeutically important, but previously 'un-druggable' targets - such as orphan receptors and ubiquitinated proteins - which can now be screened with high fidelity to biological processes."