PerkinElmer is serving as a provider and co-developer of assays, instrument solutions and expertise for the PROXIDRUGS Consortium which is zeroing in on research for proximity drugs or PROTACs (PROteolysis Targeting Chimeras).
PROTACs are a new class of drugs that take advantage of the body’s own cell protein recycling system to fight disease by using the 80% of disease-relevant proteins that are currently untargeted by available therapeutics. Led by Goethe University in Frankfurt, the Consortium includes researchers from the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology, and global pharmaceutical companies based in Frankfurt’s Rhine-Main region
The research project, starting October 2021, aims to streamline novel drug target validation by putting disease-relevant proteins in close proximity with key enzymes (such as E3 ligases) so that they can be marked for destruction and recycled by the cells’ natural shredding capabilities.
To help in these efforts, PerkinElmer will provide the consortium with no-wash AlphaLISA and HTRF immunoassay technologies and expertise in protein labelling as well as assay design; EnVision multimode plate readers; high content imaging technologies such as the Opera Phenix and Operetta CLS platforms; and data analysis and informatics tools like TIBCO Spotfire software. These PerkinElmer offerings will give PROXIDRUGS scientists a highly sensitive and accelerated discovery platform with data delivery and high throughput for both live and dead cell research.
Commenting on this research and collaboration, Alan Fletcher, SVP of Life Sciences at PerkinElmer said: “With only 20% of disease-relevant proteins currently being targeted by classical, small molecule drugs, new research approaches, such as PROTAC drug discovery, hold immense and exciting potential. We are delighted to be able to contribute our expertise and technologies to assist in the innovative work of the PROXIDRUGS Consortium as it seeks new ways to help unlock and tackle the vast majority of proteins behind widespread diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular, inflammatory and infectious conditions.”
The PROXIDRUGS consortium is led by Ivan Đikić of Goethe University Frankfurt who also commented on the importance of forming alliances across organizations to help advance novel drug discovery and development: “Successful translation of biomedical research requires strong collaboration and convergence of industry and academic expertise. Our work with PerkinElmer within the PROXIDRUGS consortium is a good example of that. PerkinElmer’s expertise and innovation in assay development is of utmost importance and will help to create new insights for our discovery efforts.”