AstraZeneca collaborates with Swedish firm Pelago Bioscience to develop assay that increases the speed and efficiency of drug development.
Pelago, a Karolinska Institute spin-off, studies the interactions between a drug and its target to make the drug development process faster and more efficient. The Cellular Thermal Shift Assay (CETSA) was developed by Pelago to examine the interaction between a drug and its protein target in a cell. Importantly, the assay can distinguish between different types of molecular interactions with its target receptor. Pelago believes this will provide a competitive edge over other cellular assays, a belief seconded by AstraZeneca’s support for the CETSA.
CETSA can provide early information on drug targets. This can help drug developers make quick decisions on which drugs to advance to the clinic and cut time and cost spent on unsuitable treatment candidates. The assay targets the human androgen receptor, which mediates the body’s response to androgen hormones such as testosterone. The human androgen receptor is involved in a variety of health conditions, including muscular atrophy. Androgen receptor-targeting drugs have already shown promise in treating prostate and breast cancer.
While AstraZeneca is undoubtedly an important partner for Pelago, they are not short of noteworthy collaborators. Pfizer, WuXi AppTec and Sygnature Discovery have all signed up to work with Pelago to use its assay as well. Time will tell if Pelago’s assay lives up to its expectations.
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