Engineering Protein Pharmaceuticals
This article was originally published in Start Up
Sophisticated protein engineering has largely been the domain of major biopharmaceutical companies. But genomics is flooding researchers with new proteins of unknown function and traditional techniques for turning them into drugs or for understanding their potential as drug targets are generally too slow. Start-ups around phage display, protein evolution, and synthetic protein chemistries are offering what look like faster, cheaper alternatives. But the size of the partnership opportunity for these new companies is uncertain, since drug companies still appear reluctant to embark on the development of protein drugs. In response, the start-ups are also trying to exploit the technologies for small-molecule drug discovery.
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