12:00 AM
 | 
Jun 11, 2001
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

XenoPort: Molecular hitchhiking

While industrialized methods of drug discovery are very good for finding compounds that are potent and selective, finding a selective and potent binder that has the right ADME properties - including bioavailability - is a hit-or-miss affair. XenoPort Inc. plans to improve that situation by making use of the body's active transport mechanisms.

The founders of XenoPort had developed combinatorial chemistry for high throughput screening at Affymax NV, but appreciated the limitations of this approach in discovering molecules with good ADME properties. "It is very common that these technologies can get you potency and selectivity for a target, but that doesn't make a drug candidate," said Ronald Barrett, president and CSO.

XenoPort plans to exploit two general active transport mechanisms - solute carrier transport and transcytosis - to improve ADME properties of high affinity ligands. The solute carrier transporter ferries a molecule from one side of the...

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