Farfield is a proud partner in the European FP7 programme ASMENA, which held its first annual project review meeting recently in Budapest. The project will run over three years, and aims to develop new platforms for drug screening and analytical profiling based on in-vitro measurements of functional and conformational change in membrane proteins. The consortium consists of 15 partners in 7 countries and are world leading experts on surface functionalization, membrane self-assembly, biosensing and membrane protein functional measurements. Under this project their complementary competences can be put together on the European level to create a timely breakthrough in the area.
Current drug screening assays targeting membrane proteins rely to a large extent on fluorescence based techniques, relying on an unnatural attachment/component of the target protein in question, which in the worst case can lead to false readouts. Thus there is an increasing interest in label free methods. Building on this, the core aim of the project is to develop functional based assays based on electrical and optical measurement techniques.
Farfield’s contribution to the project is focussing on developing membrane protein assays based on the ability of the Dual Polarisation Interferometry (DPI) technique to probe conformational changes in molecules. Together with the technologies developed with the other partners, Farfield believes such tools will allow a shortened time and cost in drug lead development by increased predictability as well as contribute to fundamental understanding of structure-function relationship of membrane proteins.
More information can be obtained from the ASMENA website at: http://www.asmena.ethz.ch/