Our goal is to discover and develop important new medicines for cancer patients by harnessing the value of frontier oncology targets – proteins that drive the growth of cancers or that control immune responses that can defeat them. Frontier targets have not been drugged successfully before or have been inadequately served by previous drug discovery efforts. Harnessing such targets fully requires advances made possible by our innovative product engine.
Our approach begins with inspiration provided by nature and evolution. Over the billion years of natural selection, nature has generated and made use of thousands of extraordinary small molecule compounds that exert remarkable effects on specific proteins. Many of these compounds were developed as defenses by microbes and their actions are highly instructive more broadly. Understanding how they interact with cellular targets can reveal valuable insights into the biology underlying the targets and how such targets can be engaged by small molecules. Furthermore, these natural products themselves can reveal chemical insights that can inform the drug discovery process. Hence, we exploit these insights from nature’s lessons to understand frontier cancer targets and to inspire drug discovery approaches that can master them.
To take greatest advantage of evolution’s lessons, our drug discovery toolkit is inspired by the complex chemical space favored by nature, including natural products or fragments of natural products that bind to large, flat ligand binding sites and protein-protein interactions that are typical of many frontier targets and can represent significant hurdles to drug discovery. We exploit this unique toolkit to give us the greatest opportunity to succeed.
Our drug discovery approach is enabled by breakthrough modular synthesis technology, REVBLOCKS ™, that allows us to craft optimal drug candidates that bind to these non-classical target binding sites.