If it were possible to perform rapid mutagenesis, genetic analysis, and compound screening in humans, there would be no need for model organisms. But since humans are not available as an experimental system, Tosk Inc. is pursuing what it believes to be the next best thing, fruit fly mutants.

Tosk is screening Drosophila melanogaster mutants that model human disease to identify small molecule candidates to treat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease (AD), stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and diabetic neuropathy. The company also uses its fly model system to screen compounds for toxicity and preclinical characteristics prior to clinical development.