Orbit Discovery plans growth in peptide discovery business

Orbit Discovery has raised US$7.6 million which will be used to accelerate its growth as a provider of peptide discovery services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Orbit Discovery’s novel bead-based and microfluidic technology platform enables the screening of peptide libraries for target binding and subsequent activity in cell-based functional assays. The company says this makes the platform ideal for identifying active peptides against both soluble proteins and membrane bound targets such as GPCRs.

Nick Dixon-Clegg, Principal at Oxford Sciences Innovation, said: “Orbit is creating the next wave of innovative technologies that facilitate faster and more specific therapeutic molecule discovery. We believe the ability to assess specific binding and functional screening through a single platform is a key gap in the market and offers a strong future for the company.”

According to Orbit Discovery, researchers have previously struggled to unite high throughput affinity screens with functional screens utilising peptide libraries of very high chemical diversity. The use of a bead-based peptide display engine along with microfluidic technologies allows Orbit to interrogate the activity of each library member against single cells. This capability enables the identification of functional molecules including those that may have agonistic or antagonist properties on disease relevant targets. These functional leads provide the starting point for the development of peptide, small molecule, other therapeutics or as bioconjugates, providing exquisite targeting and cargo delivery mechanisms.

Image credit: Nattanan Kanchanaprat

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