The hunt for therapeutics to combat the COVID-19 virus has driven unprecedented collaborations worldwide in what is seen as the greatest example of ‘open science’ in modern times.
Diamond has led an international research team to develop antiviral targeting of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, a spike protein that helps the virus bind to human cells. The team led by Martin Walsh, Deputy Life Sciences Director at Diamond Light Source involved expertise from across Diamond’s MX and XChem teams, including Alex Dias and Ailsa Powell from the Industrial Liaison Group.
The team used Fragment Screening to study the structure of the proteins and understand their interactions with cellular receptors in the body. This valuable insight will enable scientists to identify targets for new therapeutics and prevent viral infection/replication.
Fragment screening has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years and is an approach that has revolutionised the pharmaceutical industry.
It provides valuable and cost-effective insights for rational drug design, enabling scientists to identify high-quality lead candidates in the early stages of discovery. Rather than focusing on a few large complex compounds, it explores a larger part of the existing chemical space from the drug targets of interest, providing new entry routes for the development of lead compounds.
At Diamond we provide a fully integrated facility, offering services from crystal cultivation through to targeting, harvesting, and data collection & analysis using our high-powered research instruments.
Our expert team is on hand to advise and support you throughout your time at Diamond, providing a range of services (including data analysis) to suit your needs.
To find out more about this technique, visit our web page.
The Industrial Liaison Team at Diamond
Would you like to know more about using Fragment Screening and how you can apply it to your research? Do you perhaps have a research challenge that you would like to resolve? Then please get in touch with the Industrial Liaison Team at Diamond.
The Industrial Liaison team at Diamond is a group of professional, experienced scientists with a diverse range of expertise, dedicated to helping scientists and researchers from industry access the facilities at Diamond. We’re all specialists in different techniques and have a diverse range of backgrounds so we’re able to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to solving your research problems.
We offer services ranging from full service; a bespoke experimental design, data collection, data analysis and reporting service through to providing facilities for you to conduct your own experiments.
We’re always happy to discuss any enquiries or talk about ways in which access to Diamond’s facilities may be beneficial to your business, so please do give us a call on 01235 778797 or send us an e-mail.
Thumbnail image of COVID-19 virus, courtesy of: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MSMI; Dan Higgins, MAMS
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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