Photonic Pharma excels in three critical steps of early-phase drug development, and feasibility has been established independently for each step in our published work.
The engineering of fluorescent protein biosensors, informed by the principles of structural biology and functional dynamics, suitable for large-scale screening in living cells.
Pharmaceutically important protein targets are converted, via genetic engineering, to fluorescent molecular biosensors, with fluorescent tags placed strategically to report functionally important protein structural changes, detected by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Where possible, the FRET sensors are entirely genetically encoded and incorporated into a human-origin stable cell line (HEK293). This allows us to probe structure and function in the natural environment of an intact living cell.
Innovative and proprietary high-throughput screening (HTS) technology with dramatic improvement in precision compared to conventional methods.
FRET is detected by high-throughput fluorescence lifetime measurements, enabled by a proprietary fluorescence lifetime plate reader, developed with our instrumentation collaborator, Fluorescence Innovations, Inc. (FI). This instrument uniquely provides the capability to resolve, with high precision, small allosteric structural changes in the protein target, indicating that this platform is ready for HTS using small-molecule libraries.
Together with our collaborators, we have established world-class expertise in the secondary functional assays for each protein target, thus enhancing this crucial step of lead discovery.
Our expertise in both structure and function of multiple protein targets leverages our deep biochemical and biophysical expertise across multiple therapeutic goals.
These three steps, carried out in collaboration with medicinal chemistry experts, produce a strategy for lead discovery (identification of promising drug candidates) that has unprecedented speed and efficiency.