US firms Multispan and Promega have paired up to develop assay tools for G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) screening, in the hope of speeding up drug discovery on these, the most popular protein targets in pharma.
Multispan claims to have the industry's biggest collection of human GPCR clones and has engineered a large collection of cell lines that produce this class of protein. These will be combined with Promega's bioluminescent technologies to create the screening protocols.
GPCRs are the largest known class of drug targets with proven therapeutic benefits. Drugs that interact with these proteins make up nearly 40 per cent of the top 50 selling drugs worldwide. The proteins are responsible for responding to signals outside the cell and translating this into biological processes inside the cell.
"Pre-optimized protocols will reduce assay development times, from months to days, helping deliver better GPCR targeted drugs faster," said John Watson, marketing director of pharma and biotech at Promega.
Promega currently use its bioluminescent tools to profile small molecule compounds, study druggable targets such as GPCRs, nuclear hormone receptors, proteases and kinases, and assess cell viability and cytotoxicity.
Multispan focus exclusively on GPCRs, and so it is obvious why the firm might want to develop new applications for its cell lines, including the HEx series of High Expression cell lines.