Discovery of drugs that control protein translation
Most diseases are related to a certain protein that "goes out of control", being over- or under-produced, causing the symptoms of the disease. Orally taken drugs are small chemical molecules that attach ("bind") to those "target proteins", changing their chemical interactions. However, proteins have an amazing variety of shape, structure and function, and modifying their behavior after they are fully assembled in the living cell is not always possible. Even after decades of persistent efforts and hundreds of billions of dollars spent by pharma companies, there remain many severe diseases for which no drugs have been found with the existing methods. Anima takes a different approach. Instead of trying to find molecules that attach ("bind") to the protein after it has been fully produced, we discover molecules that control the protein’s production before the protein has been created. This switching of the "point of attack" has dramatic implications for drug discovery, as it enables a new strategy based on new therapeutic control points inside living cells.
Anima's inter-disciplinary Translation Control Therapeutics platform combines several core technologies. It uses biology, chemistry and bio-informatics, machine learning based image analysis algorithms, in a cloud architecture, big data analytics. Its underlying Protein Synthesis Monitoring (PSM) technology is the result of a decade of development, beginning in our scientific collaboration with Penn university in 2006 and expanding over the years to collaboration projects with 17 scientific partners. Over time, our platform has achieved strong proof points in multiple therapeutic areas resulting in 13 publications in leading journals, 5 granted and 2 pending patent families.