If you are an academic user of cryo-EM, further information is available to help you access eBIC.
Antibodies and vaccine research:
Cryo-EM is an effective technique to map the interactions between antibodies and antigens in biological drug and vaccine design studies. Near atomic resolution structures of entire viruses and virus-like particles are routinely achievable with this technique.
Characterisation of nanotechnology/drug delivery systems:
By providing structural information in as near to native conditions as possible, cryo-EM can support development and manufacturing programmes for the design of new drug delivery systems such as liposomes and dendrimers. Elucidating structure-function relationships during the design of macromolecular-based nanotech devices is also commonly achieved using this technique.
Drug discovery/rational design
Near-atomic resolutions can now be readily achieved using cryo-EM. These reveal not only the presence of, but also the mechanism by which, compounds bind with their protein targets. Cryo-EM has therefore become indispensable to pharmaceutical R&D groups wanting to investigate the structures of difficult to crystallise proteins. In addition, many membrane proteins of considerable therapeutic interest, such as channels and receptors, are readily amenable to solution by cryo-EM.
The area of single particle cryo-EM is a rapidly developing technology that is delivering a new approach to looking at previously intractable structural questions. It is an area of huge interest to the pharmaceutical industry because we are able to visualise novel atomic structures of new drug targets and, at the same time improve our understanding of challenging current targets. The decision to expand eBIC, with a focus on industrial users, is an exciting opportunity for UK-based industry to continue to be at the forefront of structural biology in drug discovery.
Dr John Barker, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Protein Sciences
We have collaborated with Diamond Light Source since its inception 10 years ago. The announced investment in cryo-electron microscopy at the Harwell Campus will transform access to this innovative technology for the Life Sciences Industry. We will be able to image large and complex proteins in a way that has previously not been possible with more traditional techniques. At Vertex we are committed to the development of new precision medicines that can treat serious diseases and we believe that cryo-electron microscopy can accelerate the discovery of such medicines.
Dr Gillian Burgess, Site Head & VP, Research at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Oxford
The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, annual influenza epidemics result in about 3-5 million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Influenza A viruses are the most common cause of seasonal flu in humans and represent a significant risk to public health.
When the influenza virus infects a host cell, it starts to make copies of itself as the disease spreads. The protein driving this behaviour is the viral RNA polymerase which replicates the viral RNA genome and makes RNA templates for protein synthesis. In order to understand how this process works, you need to work out the structure of the RNA polymerase at the atomic level.
The thyroid is a gland located in our neck which produces iodinated hormones essential for metabolism and growth, namely thyroid hormones (TH).
An imbalance in thyroid hormone production may lead to a range of disorders including cardiovascular, foetal development, and psychiatric problems, which affect more than 5% of the population worldwide, with increasing incidence. Most commonly, people suffer from an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) or less frequently, an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism). These conditions are often related to thyroid auto-immunity and cancer.
Antibiotic resistance is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society. There are high proportions of antibiotic resistance in bacteria that cause common infections, for example urinary tract infections, and it is patients with these infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria that are generally at increased risk of worse clinical outcomes and death. These patients consume more health-care resources than patients infected with the same bacteria that are drug-resistant. Developing new treatments to tackle this worldwide problem is therefore of paramount importance.Read more...
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