DURHAM, N.C., March 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Target-to-Lead company Icagen announces a collaboration with Bayer to develop new X-ray fluorescence assays using the proprietary XRpro® platform. These assays are designed to help Bayer to progress various early discovery programs in the area of transporter targets.
A major obstacle for validation of transporters as targets and subsequent identification of molecules targeting transporters has been the lack of a broadly applicable high-throughput screening platform, especially for non-electrogenic transporters. To date, screening of non-electrogenic transporters in HTS mode can still be challenging and in certain cases is only achieved with indirect readouts. The XRpro® technology employs X-ray fluorescence as a method that enables a high throughput assessment of electrogenic and nonelectrogenic transporters, and is particularly well suited for certain classes of inorganic transporters.
"Icagen looks forward to collaborating with Bayer on this ground-breaking project," said Dr. Doug Krafte, Icagen's CSO. "XRpro represents a unique application of X-ray fluorescence technology and has the potential to unlock new drug discovery efforts for previously untouched molecular targets."
The project has established key milestones and has the potential to span two years.
The XRpro® technology leverages the unique capabilities of X-ray fluorescence for high throughput analysis of plasma membrane ion channels and transporters, including non-electrogenic symporters and antiporters. XRpro® is a label-free technology that directly quantifies ion flux in cell populations without dyes, fluorophores, and radiolabels and offers the ability to conduct assays in complex buffers and media, including 100% serum. Biological elements with an atomic number of 16 (sulfur) or greater are measured simultaneously, including biologically important monovalent ions (e.g. K+), divalent ions (e.g. Ca2+), transition metals (e.g. Zn2+), halogens (e.g. Cl-), and tracer ions (e.g., Rb+, Sr2+).
Icagen partners with global pharmaceutical and biotech companies to generate high-quality, advanced leads. As a focused, Target-to-Lead (T2L) company, Icagen works with collaborators in multi-year, integrated drug discovery programs as well as piecemeal projects to fill-in the gaps for R&D efforts. Born from a biotech background and matured by pharma companies, Icagen brings to partners a North American team with over 20 years of experience in early discovery. The process of drug discovery starts with druggable targets. Icagen scientists have vast experience in target-based drug discovery, including ion channels, kinases, GPCR's and transporters. The Icagen team works with collaborators to determine target feasibility using state-of-the-art computational chemistry methods. Once a target is selected, the team combines virtual screening, ultra-high throughput screening (uHTS), biology and medicinal chemistry to generate viable leads in an iterative process. For more information email [email protected].
SOURCE Icagen, Inc.