Molecular cell biologists contribute to drug discovery at a fundamental level, providing new biological targets and cellular assays to Actelion’s growing pipeline. The discipline was therefore established from the foundation of the company, with the first researchers employed working in this field. The group has since developed into a recognized world class unit specialized in the field of molecular cell biology, and in particular in G-Protein coupled receptor drug discovery.
In order to characterize these biological targets and their interaction with Actelion’s compounds, the group continually incorporates the latest technologies into ongoing drug discovery programs. Some examples of these technologies include cellular label-free assay systems, which enable the study of native cellular signaling in the absence of additional assay detection reagents, nanotechnology, siRNA technology - where the expression of a specific gene may be interfered with - and whole genome microarrays. The knowledge gained from this characterization maximizes the level of pharmacological understanding, and assists in the generation of compounds with a high degree of innovation.
Workflows are designed to minimize assay development time and to maximize the number of projects per group member. This allows the creation of new assays with the minimum investment and maximum output.
Every new technology or new workflow must show immediate and direct benefit to the drug discovery program to support medicinal chemistry activities. With this intention, the group became one of the first to make consequent use of label-free discovery assay technology in conjunction with disease/target relevant cells in drug discovery.
Actelion’s molecular cell biologists work very closely with many other disciplines to create innovation by thoroughly investigating compounds and their characteristics in various assay systems.