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We are developing novel medicines using our suite of proprietary technologies based on high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) of intact protein assemblies. The technology enables detection of drug leads that not only bind to the target complex, but also exert a functional effect through modulation of complex formation – both of these effects (binding and function) are measured by a change in mass. These methods are being applied to drug discovery for membrane targets, including GPCRs.
The Company is a world-leader in native mass spectrometry that allows protein targets to be studied in a folded native-like state thereby preserving any associated non-covalent interactions. This allows drug interactions to be captured as well as the influence of those drugs on down-stream interaction networks that are necessary for dictating function. In this way, the technology enables direct observation of pharmacology (binding and function) at the un-precedented resolution provided by a biophysical method such as mass spectrometry.
Orthogonal MS approaches provide complementary insights to the drug discovery process. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange is capable of monitoring structural changes in response to binding – thereby revealing changes in conformational dynamics and mapping binding sites.
A central focus of OMass is to automate the native platforms for hit-finding activities, using both currently available technologies as well as new in-house approaches. This work is funded by an Innovate UK grant, awarded in March 2018.