NextGen Lab-on-Bead: Harnessing Ion Torrent Sequencing for Cancer Drug Discovery

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43GM102987-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43GM102987
Amount: $695,139.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: NIGMS
Solicitation Number: PA11-335
Small Business Information
575 North Patterson Avenue, WINSTON-SALEM, NC, 27106-
DUNS: 962591066
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (336) 618-1011
Business Contact
Phone: (336) 618-1011
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Revenue growth and market capitalization of pharmaceutical firms have plunged over the past 10 years. Why? An important factor is that the engine for growth in drug discovery has come to a standstill. Historic relianceon synthetic organic chemistry and more recent innovations in combinatorial chemistry, randomer libraries and high-throughput screening have individually and collectively failed to meet expectations, as measured by the annual number of new drug approvals.These more recent innovations have yet to be validated in the marketplace, and the cost of conventional block-and-tackle drug development has begun to outweigh returns. Two of the most substantial areas of venture capital/private equity investment in lifesciences over the past five years include biomedical applications of nanotechnology and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Investment in NGS is rapidly shifting from technology development to new applications. Until recently, the universal goal of NGS was rapid whole genome sequencing (lt 1000/genome). We believe we are the first to use NGS for cancer drug discovery using synthetic nucleic acid and nucleotide-encoded chemical libraries. This proposal focuses on Lab-on-BeadTM enabled Ion Torrent sequencing (ITS) as a high-throughput way to decode single-sequence-per-bead DNA-encoded libraries. Micron-sized beads arrayed in millions of microelectronic wells are used to simultaneously sequence and then functionally select candidate molecules. Our project combines programmable DNA-encoded macrocycle synthesis, Lab-on-Bead processing and NGS to identify new ligands that modulate tyrosine kinase signaling (e.g., cytoplasmic Src kinase) by members of the erbB family of receptors (e.g., Her2) that are overexpressed inbreast, prostate and ovarian cancers. Synthetic macrocycles represent an attractive class of drug candidates compared to their linear counterparts in terms of potency, solubility, lipophilicity, specificity, multivalent binding, metabolic stability, bioavailability and membrane permeability. To date, most of the gt100 approved macrocycle drugs are derived or modified from natural sources rather than de novo synthesis. Massively parallel macrocycle synthesis can now be achieved by DNA templating, each macrocycle created with a DNA tag that both directs synthesis and encodes candidate identity. The bottleneck in encoded library-based discovery is the need for rapid, efficient screening and selection methods to reduce cost, time, labor and required amounts oflibrary and target. NanoMedica is in the business of helping customers' discover more with less. Our competitive advantage in NGS-based drug discovery includes a first-mover opportunity and a strong, preemptive patent portfolio. Benefits include 1) cost-, time- and labor-efficiency through single-cycle selection sans the iterative rounds and subcloning of in vitro evolution; 2) only femtomoles of target/library needed per run; 3) versatility in selecting DNA- or PNA-encoded molecules, peptides and backbone-modified RNA and DNA aptamers; and 4) potential for in situ determination of target-binding dissociation rates of candidate molecules. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The aims of this proposal are to 1) apply a novel, encoded macrocycle library screening and candidate molecule selection method to discovery of new anticancer drug candidates and 2) harness, develop and market Lab-on-Bead enabled next generation sequencing services capitalizing on programmable synthesis and selection of macrocycles for cancer drug discovery and development. This next-generation Lab-on-Bead sequencing and selection method is designed to discover more with less, as it only requires tiny amounts of target molecules and library candidates and mayultimately be able to screen up to 108 drug candidates in less than a day.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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