SAN DIEGO–Novasite Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced it has received a four-year grant valued at nearly $3.4 million for continued development of its proprietary parallel screening technology for G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). The company's screening platform performs functional screens for allosteric modulators, a subclass of GPCR drugs the company contends can potentially have safer therapeutic action.
"The grant to continue development of our crystallography method of parallel screening of allosteric modulators is important in the development of Novasite for two reasons," says Kathryn Rucker, vice president corporate finance and development. "First it helps us preserve our capital to deploy in other ways and it allows us to increase our parallel screening using our proprietrary technology from 30 to more than 100 GPCRs."
The benefit of the parallel screening is in line with the continuing industry trend of "more and faster" and in this case allows for the screening of GPCR families, as opposed to other approaches that screen one receptor at a time. According to John Ransom, Ph.D. and vice president of biology at Novasite, the company's proprietary platform "is capable of detecting allosteric modulators, because it can reliably measure subtle variations in the signal induced by the natural ligand." By understanding these subtleties more completely, researchers can, in theory, create compounds that more selectively target single receptors as opposed to a whole family of receptors.