Target Identification and Validation
GE Healthcare supplies analytical tools for protein, nucleic acid, and cell analysis, providing drug discovery scientists with valuable insights to better understand biological processes and identify the key molecular pathways involved in disease. These tools include cell imaging platforms, such as the IN Cell Analyzer high content analysis system, an extensive portfolio of equipment for electrophoresis and detection, including products for Western blotting, as well as label-free protein interaction analysis systems such as MicroCal (microcalorimetry), and Biacore (surface plasmon resonance).
Characterization of potential drug targets, including a full understanding of their functional roles via biological assays and knowledge of structural and biochemical features of the active sites, is necessary to evaluate “drugability” - the likelihood that the target can be modulated via interaction with a small molecule drug, inhibitory antibody, or antisense nucleic acid, and that this will lead to the desired therapeutic effect. This information is also the starting point in the development of physiologically relevant screening assays.
It must also be possible to produce and purify active target in sufficient quantities for in vitro assays and/or to establish a stable cell assay. Comprehensive knowledge of the important molecules involved in disease processes may also determine whether a given disease may be treated via replacement therapy using a recombinant protein or a cell-based approach.