48Hour Discovery receives Government of Canada funding to develop technology that maximizes success of drug discovery

New technology platform would deliver orally available small molecule therapeutics for a wide range of targets

EDMONTON, ALBERTA (April 18, 2019) – 48Hour Discovery (48HD) today announced that it will  receive up to $193,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to research and develop a technology that expedites drugs discovery and development. The novel streamlined platform would potentially deliver stable drug-like molecules with proven efficacy and membrane permeability, which directly provides an advantage for clients to accelerate through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Investigational New Drug Program (IND).

Finding therapeutic compounds is challenging if the initial pool of molecules used for the search do not have drug-like properties. 48HD overcomes this challenge by using a new class of promising molecules. Efficacious, potentially bioavailable, and resilient to enzyme decomposition, these promising molecules—bicyclic peptides—will originate from 48HD’s patented genetically-encoded libraries. The proposed new technology will integrate more than a billion drug-like molecules (bicycles) into a phage-display high-throughput screening platform. The platform addresses current challenges in the pharmaceutical industry and could evolve how orally available therapeutic compounds are identified.

With a team of scientists from synthetic chemistry, biophysics, cell biology, and computer engineering backgrounds, 48HD’s multidisciplinary project will also include collaborations with Unnatural Products (UNP) during the validation stage of the technology development. At the validation stage, putative therapeutic compounds would be tested in binding assays as well as membrane permeability assays to predict their potentials for oral adsorption and to improve the modeling of cell permeability in this emerging molecular class. 

While the NRC IRAP research and development project is focused on creating a platform to accelerate drug discovery and development, the technologies being developed could have many other applications as well. For instance, the discovery pipeline is modular and could be expanded and paired with other types of molecular libraries for discovering new biomaterials or diagnostics.

“The continued support from NRC IRAP has been instrumental in developing solutions to difficult problems; without which, the advancement of our technology would not be possible,” says Samantha Kwok, Operations Manager at 48HD. “We have made tremendous progress this year expanding our R&D division, and we hope our technology will benefit the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.”

About 48Hour Discovery
Founded in 2017, 48Hour Discovery Inc. aims to facilitate new drug discovery in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with our advanced platform based on patented barcoded libraries, stream-lined workflow and open-access data management. The 48Hour Discovery Cloud houses a database of user curated content of >10,000 screens and provides easy-to-use search functions, data visualization and analysis. We are committed to building new technologies that make ligand discovery faster, easier, and more transparent.  

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