There is an unmet need for a solution that can provide comprehensive target information at the lead selection stage of small molecule drug discovery. Interactions with proteins beyond the intended target influence the therapeutic, ADME and toxicity profile of small molecule drugs. Many off-target interactions become clear during drug discovery and development as a result of in vitro pharmacology binding and functional assays. However, due to cost this knowledge often occurs too late to capitalise on desirable properties and to avoid unwanted properties. Also some off-target interactions are not evident until after a drug has reached the market with implications for repurposing and drug safety, and wasting a considerable number of animals during development.
Working with Retrogenix and Sheffield Hallam University, Phenotox Ltd. has come up with a potential solution to this problem. Together they have developed a mass spectrometry-based profiling method that can detect the binding of label-free (unmodified) chemicals to potentially thousands of targets expressed in cell microarrays. They are now seeking partners able to provide advice and guidance, and public and proprietary compounds, to support a validation study of the platform against a large panel of targets.