The InDanio screening system can be used, for example, to functionally characterize 'orphan' receptors those for which their natural ligands or specific function are unknown and thus qualify them as potential targets for drug discovery. The system can also be used to screen compound libraries in order to identify and refine potential new drugs that target NR proteins.
NRs are found inside cells and are responsible for sensing the presence of hormones and other molecules. They regulate the expression in the cell of a number of genes involved in homeostatic, metabolic and reproductive processes. NRs regulate the expression in the cell of a number of processes, and they also represent an important and successful class of drug targets implicated in some of the most prevalent diseases, including immune disorders, obesity, diabetes and cancer. A study four years ago determined that one seventh of drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) target nuclear receptors, and the top ten selling NR-based drugs combined represent worldwide annual sales of over USD $16 billion. Although many NRs have been targeted successfully, most of them have not been, and one third of them are still orphans.
InDanio was founded by Dr. Henry Krause, a professor in the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Jens Tiefenbach, a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Krause and is based on the IP portfolio generated by their research.
"The OGI investment will allow InDanio to characterize the function of ill-understood members of the NR family and thus form the basis for establishing commercial partnerships to further characterize such receptors and develop drugs targeting them," commented Dr. Paul Chipperton, member of the InDanio board of directors and CEO of Profound Medical. "With a more efficient and comprehensive approach to probing the NR receptors, there is a tremendous opportunity to develop
|Contact: Alastair Harris-Cartwright|
Ontario Genomics Institute