NanoTemper Technologies is a biophysical instrument manufacturer in Munich, German with patented technology for high throughput screening of clinical candidates for a range of molecular sizes – including biologics.
Domainex is the first UK CRO to purchase and fully commission one of NanoTemper’s Monolith NT.Automated screening instruments.
Domainex is a small-molecule biotech and clinical services organisation in Cambridge, UK, with services such as assay development and fragment based drug-discovery (FBBD) for preclinical candidate discovery and validation.
Trevor Perrior, CSO of Domainex told Outsourcing-Pharma “This is the first MST instrument we've purchased, and we have a lot of confidence in the technique. [In fact], we’re the first people in the CRO world to invest in [NanoTemper’s] capabilities.”
Fragment screening with MST
The device uses NanoTemper’s patented Microscale thermophoresis (MST) technology, which serves as an automated alternative to Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) or NMR spectroscopy techniques for screening candidates.
Perrior explained that these kind of techniques tend to use up more protein when fragment screening – for example, NMR screening typically uses more than 10mg of protein.
MST instruments are sensitive enough that they just need 400 µg of protein.
Stefan Duhr, CEO of NanoTemper Technologies, told Outsourcing-Pharma on the phone “MST is also very flexible technology in terms of application range – [the instrument] is independent of weight changes” – and therefore also able to detect larger molecules and multi-protein complexes.
Domainex previously told in-PharmaTechnologist that its approach to finding leads is also 30% faster than the industry average.
With automation of the FBBD process, the speed of fragment screening can therefore be further improved using the Monolith NT. Automated device.
Perrior added “With up to 400 measurements an hour – it takes a fraction of the time compared to manual techniques.”
The instrument carries out the bulk of the screening, with hits then being confirmed using NMR or other techniques to complete validation.
“If you get 10 hits, checking each of those hits using NMR is a very manageable thing to do.”
Perrior added “All of these screening services feed into our general drug discovery services, to elaborate into clinical candidates.”
Europe, CROs and Biologics
Stefan Duhr added “NanoTemper Technologies has a lot of customers screening for small molecules and fragments," such as Domainex, "but [MST technology] goes all the way up to biologics and biosimilars.”
Duhr continued, “We're seeing a lot of these kind of investments in the European CRO industry. For example, I see a lot of dynamics in the biosimilars business and an increasing need for such biophysical screening services.”
The firm already has European operations in Germany, Cambridge (UK) and Kraków.
Duhr told Outsourcing-Pharma that because many of NanoTemper’s clients are academics or working in pharmaceuticals, “we of course have situations where people request services from us."
"But we provide the instruments. CROs are a great opportunity to access this technology.”