GenNext Technologies, a growth-stage company providing biopharmaceutical drug discovery systems and services, announced the receipt of a two year, Phase II SBIR grant for a project titled “In-Cell Automated Flash Oxidation (IC-AutoFox) Protein Footprinting System.” The grant was awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Systems (NIGMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the grant is to extend GenNext’s breakthrough Hydroxyl Radical Protein Footprinting (HRPF) technology and methods to studies involving living cells.
This award of $2.5 million brings total funding from NIGMS for the GenNext platform to $9.5 million.
The Flash Oxidation (Fox) Protein Footprinting System is currently being used by the biopharmaceutical industry to perform Higher Order Structure (HOS) analysis of proteins with an emphasis on biologic therapeutics, the most rapidly growing segment in this area. The Fox System helps researchers develop safer and more effective biotherapeutics by revealing important information about protein interactions and structural changes.
With the support of this NIGMS grant, GenNext can now leverage its proprietary technology and considerable knowhow to develop a fully automated platform that will study drug induced HOS structure changes within living cells, with its first system designed for in vivo protein footprinting studies. This includes drug candidate activity for G protein-coupled receptor therapeutics and ion channel blockers. Thus, in-cell protein footprinting technology will, for the first time, empower scientists to survey the complex milieu of biological responses to therapeutic candidates. By studying drug response within living cells, researchers will obtain a more accurate depiction of efficacy and potential side effects.
“With this award, we will complete our in-cell protein footprinting R&D program, culminating in a revolutionary new tool to study protein structure, protein interactions, and drug interactions in living cells. Soon, researchers will study living cells with a new level of simplicity and elegance, while generating unprecedented levels of actionable data,” said Scot R. Weinberger, founder and CEO of GenNext. “We’re truly delighted to receive our tenth NIGMS grant award as further validation of our leadership in commercializing novel and robust protein footprinting technology.”
“It’s very exciting to watch as the GenNext platform is being adopted by many different laboratories and emerges as an essential method in structural biology labs,” said Professor Lisa Jones from University of California San Diego and inventor of in vivo protein footprinting. “I look forward to collaborating with the GenNext team to produce the world’s first in-cell protein footprinting system. As demonstrated in our laboratory, the application of this important technique to living tissues and small organisms will enable, for the first time, HRPF studies of storage diseases.”