Trinity partners with Paul Scherrer Institute and MiTeGen

Protein blueprinting tool partners Trinity with Paul Scherrer Institute and MiTeGen.

The developers of a new tool for blueprinting the structure of membrane proteins, from Trinity College Dublin and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), have entered into a licensing agreement with designer and manufacturer MiTeGen to bring the product to market.

Professor of Membrane Structural and Functional Biology at Trinity, Martin Caffrey, and Dr Meitian Wang of the Paul Scherrer Institute, have enhanced the efficiency of the protein-crystallisation-blueprinting process, which will have important implications for the field of drug design and development.

In recognition of their intellectual contribution towards developing the technology, Trinity and PSI shall receive a share of the benefits that accrue from net sales of the ‘IMISX™’ technology.

The in meso in situ (IMISX™) serial approach allows for high throughput protein crystallography. This ensures a more rapid and cost-effective route to structure determination where protein crystals are too small or fragile for existing techniques.

Membrane protein blueprinting via crystallography plays an essential role in therapeutic drug target identification because unique protein blueprints help us to understand how therapeutic drugs may target these disease-causing and modifying proteins.

Whilst tremendous advances have been made in the methodologies used to generate crystal structures of proteins, technical challenges still remain associated with membrane protein crystallisation and harvesting, data collection and structure determination. The IMISX™ method levels the playing field.

Professor Caffrey said: “Partnering with MiTeGen is a very effective way to make this highly specialised IMISX™ methodology available to the membrane protein community worldwide for use in protein blueprinting and eventually for drug design and discovery.”

Robert Newman, CEO of MiTeGen, said: “MiTeGen is proud to support the research efforts of Trinity College and the Paul Scherrer Institute. Commercial development of the IMISX™ technology will enable researchers around the world to now perform in situ X-ray diffraction studies on protein crystal samples grown by the in meso or lipid cubic phase method, samples that may previously have been too difficult to harvest and collect data on using conventional techniques.” 

“Our ability to work directly with researchers to make revolutionary new tools, such as the IMISX™ technology, available to the research community allows us to remain on the cutting edge of solution-providers for crystallographers. We are happy to announce the commercial availability of IMISX™ kits starting in July of 2015.” 

The IMISX™ technology was developed from funding awarded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Paul Scherrer Institute.

For more information please see: www.tcd.ie/research and www.tcd.ie/innovation