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Axovan Ltd.

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Using proprietary high-throughput screening techniques, Axovan is now identifying compounds that bind to GPCRs with high affinity. It reduces screening time by taking into account the homology between receptors, which enables it to screen up to eight receptors in parallel: the company claims to be the only one able to screen up to 30 GPCR receptors per year.

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Norak Biosciences Inc.

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7TM Pharma

7TM Pharma aims to apply proprietary functional and structural knowledge of 7TM receptors to aid in the design of small-molecule therapeutics, and hopes to succeed commercially by choosing a specific therapeutic area-metabolic diseases, and in particular, obesity-on which to apply its technology.

Aptus Genomics Inc.

Researchers haven't yet been able to overcome the challenge of isolating and purifying GPCRs from their membrane in a functionally useful form, so it has been difficult to determine their structures, as a starting point for drug discovery. Researchers have, however, developed indirect ways of detecting whether particular compounds activate GPCRs, by measuring the effects of activation. The presence of certain secondary messengers within the cell, for example, calcium or cyclic AMP (cAMP), is a telltale sign that compounds have interacted with GPCRs. Aptus Genomics has applied for a patent for a high-throughput drug screening method for GPCRs that signal through cAMP.

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