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Highly Informative Drug Screening by Overcoming NMR Restrictions

Project description

Innovative magnetic resonance for high-throughput drug screening

Drug discovery and development is a laborious and costly process that involves multiple laboratory and preclinical testing stages. Despite advances in high-throughput screening technologies, the number of late-phase drug candidates remains limited. The EU-funded HiSCORE project brings together four research groups with expertise in magnetic resonance. The main objective is to advance magnetic resonance sensitivity and throughput, such that drug candidates can be tested at scale. The HiSCORE project will allow scientists to investigate drug pharmacokinetics using magnetic resonance based functional and binding assays in a high-throughput manner, and provide insight into the interaction of drug candidates with specific protein targets.


The need for drug screening with increasingly higher throughput is dictated both by the increasing number of drug targets made available through genomics and the increasing number of chemical molecules generated through combinatorial chemistry. Merely Boolean high-throughput screening techniques today can scan large compound libraries, but the ever increasing throughput has not translated into a significant increase in late-phase drug candidates. HiSCORE presents a synergistic approach to high-throughput, high-information drug screening that builds on the complementary skills of four laboratories supported by two external experts of drug screening: (i) Research and build innovative magnetic resonance instrumentation (Kentgens, IMM/RU) that can provide small, hyperpolarized solid samples on a seconds timescale, transfer and dissolve or liquefy these samples with minimum dilution, and acquire multiple high-resolution NMR spectra of the liquefied samples in parallel (Meier, IBG/KIT), using complementary contrast-enhancement methods, in up to 1000 massively parallelized microfluidic detectors (Korvink, IMT/KIT). (ii) Use this instrumentation for binding assays and measure the dissociation constants in the nano to micromolar range, and determine kinetic rates of the association and dissociation for a large number of complexes of putative drug compounds and protein targets (Bodenhausen, ENS) (iii) Use this instrumentation for functional assays, in particular for systems that comprise multiple enzyme steps with intermediate products, and to determine the efficacy of potential inhibitors, while fully exploiting the rich information that can be obtained by fluorine-19 NMR. (iv) Use this instrumentation for metabonomic assays to observe the metabolism of the compounds in cultures of living cells in view of identifying potentially toxic side-products. The contrast between compounds that bind to targets and those that fail to bind will be boosted by exploiting long-lived states


Net EU contribution
€ 3 253 750,00
45, rue d'ulm
75230 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (3)