Over the past few years, there has been renewed interest in structure-based drug design. But whole classes of targets remain resistant to the technique, including attractive classes of membrane bound proteins such as G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. m-phasys GmbH believes that it has found a way to purify and crystallize significant quantities of these proteins, making them available for structure-based studies.

According to m-phasys, the majority of pharmaceutical drug targets are membrane bound proteins. But they are difficult to purify. As a result, there are very few 3-D structures of membrane proteins, and the company says there are no in vitro assays based on purified membrane proteins.