Scientists from the drug discovery company Sprint Bioscience and researchers from MAX IV used X-ray crystallography to take important steps toward developing new and more efficient cancer drugs.
The first step in a fragment-based drug discovery process is identifying small molecules (fragments) that bind the targeted cancer protein. In this step, the protein is screened using various biophysical methods against a number of fragments in order to develop suitable drug candidates.
Sprint Bioscience has designed and formulated a fragment library of 300 chemicals suitable for X-ray-based fragment screening. As part of the collaboration, the researchers in the FragMAX team at MAX IV optimised and developed a protein crystallisation system corresponding to the cancer protein chosen by Sprint Bioscience. The crystallised protein was then screened against the library of 300 fragments.