DRUG DISCOVERY PROGRAM

Microbial Novoteqs utilizes novel drug-discovery platforms that permit therapeutic drug discovery in rapid, cost-efficient, and physiologically relevant systems. Along with minimal-component biochemical assays, our innovative microbial cell-based drug-discovery platform integrates pharmacology, chemistry, and biology, using state-of-the-art drug screening equipment.

To date, the company has received 1.7 million dollars in grants and additional subcontracts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pursue high-throughput screening for inhibitors of viral agents that pose global health threats and bacterial toxins that pose threats as biological weapons. In addition, projects addressing pathogenic fungi and various chronic disease areas are being aggressively pursued.

THE TARGETS

Pathogenic fungi such as Candida albicans are serious health threats, especially to immunocompromised populations. Our drug discovery platform allows hit identification in multiple microbial species simultaneously. Several promising lead drug candidates have been identified to date, and further investigation of their modes of action are underway using our in-house yeast-based technologies. In particular, compound MNT-03-01 has been shown to inhibit the growth of C. albicans and other fungi at the sub-micromolar range.

Proteases comprise a diverse family of proteins which are implicated in a wide array of diseases. The six major classes of these enzymes regulate physiological processes such as infection, inflammation, cell growth and death, tumor growth, and bone remodeling. In addition, the proteases of human pathogens are often vital to their propagation and some can be utilized as toxins. Therefore, protease inhibitors and modulators are of great interest as novel disease therapies. Promising results have been obtained from studies on compound MNT-02-07, which is currently the best known small-molecule inhibitor of botulinum B neurotoxin.

Our long-term goal is to produce clinically safe and effective drugs against targets including proteases vital to pathogenic virus replication, bacterial toxins with potential as bioweapons, and proteases with roles in metabolic diseases and cancer. In order to meet this goal, we constantly strive to expand our capabilities and improve our core technologies:

Assay Development

     - Microbial cell-based and target-specific assays suitable for highly cost efficient HTS

     - In vitro biochemical assays using purified target proteins and model substrates

 

High-Throughput Screening

     - Diverse drug-like small molecule library gleaned from multiple commercial sources

     - Enabled by innovative assay design and state-of-the-art robotic automation at all stages

 

hit-to-lead optimization

     - Follow-up testing of structural analogs of validated hits to discover structure-activity relationships

 

Adme/tox

     - Mammalian cell lines are used to evaluate absorption, metabolism, and toxicity of hit compounds

 

 

 

View our Progress-to-Date

 

 

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