Collaboration launched to drive understanding of COVID-19

Medicines Discovery Catapult, Retrogenix and Peak Proteins collaborate to identify target receptors for COVID-19

Today (27 April) Medicines Discovery Catapult, Retrogenix and Peak Proteins announce a collaboration to advance understanding of the cellular mechanisms of infection by COVID-19.

This collaboration aims to combine excellence in drug discovery and protein science with innovative cellular microarray technology to uncover any unknown cellular receptors or binding proteins of COVID-19. Identification of such receptors could provide the basis for new therapeutic approaches to counter the current global coronavirus pandemic, and may guide drug repurposing efforts.

Jo Soden, Co-founder and Director at Retrogenix, said:

By screening against our unique library of human cell surface proteins, Retrogenix has previously been highly successful in identifying viral receptors. Using the same technology, we now have the perfect opportunity to search for new receptors for COVID-19.

A positive find could have significant consequences in the search for treatments.

Mark Abbott, CEO Peak Proteins, added:

The ability to rapidly produce and provide high quality COVID-19 proteins for use in key research activities has been really important to us. We are delighted to provide our protein production expertise and generate the tailored protein reagents needed for this project.

Our focus has been on keeping our labs open, while ensuring the safety of the staff, and this seems all the more worthwhile when we are able to contribute to understanding how COVID-19 infects cells, and in the development of new approaches to target the virus.”

Peter Simpson, CSO of Medicines Discovery Catapult, commented:

“It is heartening to see the scientific and technical expertise of our three skilled organisations coming rapidly together to respond to this global health crisis.

Medicines Discovery Catapult has already established the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab for large scale COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and we are delighted to now provide scientific expertise for this collaborative project that will enhance understanding of COVID-19 and support the global challenge to find therapeutic opportunities.”


About Retrogenix

Retrogenix’s proprietary cell microarray technology provides a fast, accurate and effective solution for determining the primary target and secondary target (off-target) activities of antibodies, proteins, small molecules and viruses. Microarrays of over 5,500 plasma membrane and secreted protein targets are expressed in human cells. Physiologically relevant interactions with test molecules or protein ligands can be identified with high sensitivity and specificity. The technology supports breakthroughs in medical research and is widely used by major global pharmaceutical

Companies to advance drug discovery & development and provide data to support regulatory submissions.

Retrogenix holds two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious acknowledgement of business performance. The company is headquartered in the Peak District, UK, and has an office in Cambridge, MA.


About Peak Proteins

Peak Proteins is a rapidly growing CRO based at Alderley Park, UK that specialises in three key services; tailor-made protein reagents, protein structure information using X-ray crystallography and protein mass spectrometry.


About Medicines Discovery Catapult

Medicines Discovery Catapult is a national facility connecting the UK community to accelerate innovative drug discovery.

We provide unique scientific capabilities and act as a gateway to UK resources and expertise, supporting UK SMEs to drive the development and industrialisation of new approaches for the discovery of new medicines.

By validating new ways of discovering medicines and driving key talent and expertise across the sector, we will support the UK life sciences industry, SMEs and innovators to deliver growth for the UK economy and maintain the UK’s heritage position as a global leader in medicines R&D.

Ultimately, new industrialised technologies are vital for delivering new medicines to patients, faster.