12:00 AM
Apr 29, 2002
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Plexxikon: Low affinity strategy

Though the number of targets in the hands of biotech and pharma companies has been steadily increasing, aided by newer genomics and proteomics technologies, the process of designing new compounds to modulate those targets has been low throughput, and the universe of chemical scaffolds has increased only slowly. Plexxikon Inc.'s strategy of starting with low affinity interactions and structural studies may provide a way to more rapidly identify and use new chemical scaffolds.

Plexxikon starts by breaking down proteins into functional domains, which may only account for a fraction of the whole target protein. The company uses those domains instead of a whole protein for its chemistry screening.

The company has large scale fermentation facilities where it can make milligram quantities of the protein domains of interest for use in screening, and in contrast with most companies, Plexxikon uses low-affinity in vitro assays to screen chemical libraries against...

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