X-ray crystallography deal supports biomarker development

CRO Emerald BioStructures is collaborating with SomaLogic for the structure-based design of chemically modified DNA aptamers and small molecules.

Using its x-ray crystallography expertise Emerald BioStructures will provide insight into the structure of SOMAmers, DNA aptamers developed by SomaLogic. This knowledge will support design and optimisation of SOMAmers for use in diagnostics and biomarker discovery.

The multi-target, multi-year collaboration builds on work performed by the companies in 2009. This earlier collaboration resulted in the first x-ray structure of a novel SOMAmer bound to its protein target.

Larry Gold, CEO of SomaLogic, said the work revealed​“several novel structural themes that can be achieved with SOMAmer technology, which explains the very high affinity and unique properties of our chemically modified DNA aptamers for their protein targets​”.

Having a high affinity for protein targets makes SOMAmers potentially useful tools in diagnostics and pharma research and development. Gaining insight into the structural factors underpinning high affinity will support design of novel small molecule modulators of protein structure.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Other collaborations

Last week Emerald BioStructures published details of two other collaborations. Firstly, the contract research organisation (CRO) began collaborating with Theraclone Sciences.

Emerald BioStructures is providing Theraclone with access to its high throughput crystallisation platform and biophysical tool set. The collaboration aims to obtain antibody-antigen co-crystal structures.

In a separate release Emerald BioStructures detailed progress of its work with N30 Pharma. Supported by structural insights from the CRO N30 Pharma has designed S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) inhibitors. This allowed N30 to begin Phase I trials.

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