New method for identifying proteins should have “a major impact on the development of new biologics,” U of T researcher says
Biologics are a type of drug that results from the high-tech manipulation of our own proteins, as opposed to more traditional drugs built from synthetic chemicals. Because of their success so far, scientists are racing to create new biologics – and now, a U of T researcher has developed a way to make that process more powerful.
Philip M. Kim, an associate professor in U of T’s Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, combined high-tech computer simulation and high-throughput laboratory experiments to create what he hopes will be the most effective way to discover the proteins that are key to new biologics. His research was published online in the journal Science Advances on July 20, 2016.
“A large fraction of new therapeutics these days involve engineered proteins that latch onto a drug target, for instance on a cancer cell,” says Kim, also of the departments of molecular genetics and computer science. “Finding a protein that effectively binds to a target can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“Our method should open up new opportunities to find those key proteins – and make a major impact on the development of new biologics.”