Explore natural products for innovative therapies
SAN FRANCISCO, January 9, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Biotech company Zymergen (ZY) announced new drug discovery activity based on its proprietary Synthetic Biology platform and what is considered the world’s largest metagenomics database, combining both size and quality. This new venture leverages Zymergen’s differentiated access to natural products as a source of diverse chemical materials and expands Zymergen’s existing advanced materials programs, capitalizing on years of previous research and development in synthetic biology.
Zymergen’s metagenomics database – which contains a breadth and depth of metagenomic information rivaling any publicly available dataset combined – provides access to a vast reservoir of new natural products, including molecules from uncultivated microbes. . Thanks to this resource, Zymergen scientists were able to confirm successful drugs and molecules currently on the market at the end of clinical development, and to discover new modulators of important oncological targets. By combining next-generation sequencing with proprietary machine learning and computing, Zymergen’s platform transforms the search for structurally new bioactive molecules from tedious screening campaigns into a fast and accurate digital database search for a therapeutic target of interest.
âZymergen demonstrates the potential of a new discovery paradigm; move from ineffective large-scale physical screening to rapid screening in silico database research, which can dramatically accelerate the pace of early discovery, âsaid Devin Scannell, vice president of innovation for Zymergen’s drug discovery business. âWhether for targeted protein degradation or traditional inhibitors, scientists are looking for access to a new chemical space. Our platform provides access to molecules that have evolved to engage targets of interest with very diverse mechanisms. In addition to great chemical novelty, the amount of optimization required to achieve drug-like properties for such molecules can be significantly less than for purely synthetic compounds.
Zymergen’s initial drug discovery pipeline is focused on high-value oncology targets where Zymergen’s precision medicine and distinctive complex molecules are expected to provide competitive and therapeutic advantages.
âWe have sequenced and stored the equivalent of billions of previously unknown microbial genomes in a database that continues to grow,â said Oliver Liu, vice president of Metagenomics, Zymergen. âCompared to companies that have to rely on the same small slice of biodiversity that can be cultivated in the lab, we can use our patented process to access and unlock a source of new natural product discovery that has always been elusive. “
Zymergen’s position was strengthened by the acquisition of Lodo Therapeutics in mid-2021. Lodo Therapeutics brings additional expertise in metagenomics as well as an experienced team of drug discovery and proprietary technology, including for the design of drugs based on the structure of natural products. Their existing multi-target discovery collaboration with Genentech – part of the Roche group – continues to build on their previous achievements in preclinical stages.
âWe are excited for the opportunity to make real breakthroughs in drug discovery with natural products,â said Jay Flatley, Interim CEO of Zymergen. âWe believe that the size and diversity of our metagenomics collection – coupled with our unique bioinformatics tools and research capabilities – allow us to pursue ambitious and valuable goals. This is clearly a great choice for Zymergen as our strength in synthetic biology will give us an advantage in expressing these complex molecules, but ultimately we see this as a victory for patients in need of more effective treatments.
Zymergen is a biotechnology company that designs and produces molecules, microbes and materials for various end markets. We partner with nature to make better products, a better way, for a better world.
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