It has become a truism that genomics is providing thousands of new drug targets, creating bottlenecks in the lead discovery process at the level of functional genomics and compound screening. Novalon Pharmaceutical Corp. is addressing both problems with technology it believes will overcome the shortcomings of other screening methods.

"The real need in the post-genomics era is for a tool kit that lets you put a screen in place that can identify lead compounds," said Chairman, President and CEO Dana Fowlkes. "Conventional screening methods require significant a priori information about the biological function of a target. As a result, the paradigm now is that you need to do functional genomics before picking an assay. We don't need that information."