MALVERN, PA — Reaction Biology Corporation (“RBC”), a leading contract research organization providing early-stage drug discovery services, announced that it has received a subcontract from Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., which operates the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research for the National Cancer Institute. Under the subcontract, RBC will work on an early stage drug discovery project for the National Cancer Institute’s Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) program using Surface Plasmon Resonance (“SPR”) technology. As part of the project, RBC will be working in a collaboration with the Fesik Drug Discovery Research group at Vanderbilt University.
Focused on colorectal cancer, the collaboration will attempt to identify small molecules that affect the Wnt signaling pathway, which has been extensively researched as a target for the disease. Using the biophysical method of SPR, RBC intends to analyze various constituents of the pathway, prior to more functional testing. The project includes protein production at RBC of various target proteins, assay optimization, and then the measurement of binding and kinetics for small molecule ligands. The process is complex, as there are multiple constituents of the pathway, and protein-protein interactions of various types must be evaluated in a controlled environment.
RBC’s biophysical lab will use its Biacore 8K units to perform the analysis, and this portion of the project will be led by RBC’s Associate Director of Biophysics Rebecca Eells. If results of the tests indicate that the pathway is amenable to pharmacological inhibition, the project may move on to larger-scale screening of compounds.
The program is part of RBC’s designation as a Specialized Center for the NExT Program Chemical Biology Consortium (the “CBC”). RBC is one of 15 centers nationwide that participate in this effort. Through its multidisciplinary drug discovery teams, the CBC aims to advance early-stage drug discovery projects through to the clinical candidate stage.
Source: Reaction Biology Corporation, 1 Great Valley Pkwy Ste 2, Malvern, PA 19355
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