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12:00 AM
Aug 20, 2001
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Astex: Crystal clear leads

Biotech companies are industrializing the process of X-ray crystallography to determine protein structures on a genome-wide scale. But not content just to churn out huge numbers of structures, Astex Technology Ltd. is directing its high throughput crystallography platform towards known disease targets to deliver optimized leads.

CSO Harren Jhoti, who had headed the structural biology and bioinformatics program at Glaxo Wellcome plc, said Astex emerged out of the need to develop new approaches to improve the process of X-ray crystallography. The methodology, Jhoti noted, "needed to be pushed again to maximize its use for lead discovery."

Astex has streamlined the way protein structures are solved through its HTX high throughput X-ray crystallography platform. While Jhoti said that the timeline for structure determination "varies depending on the class of protein, we're disappointed if we don't go from gene to structure in less than a few months."


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