Functional genomics enables easy target identification and drives drug discovery

Palo Alto, Calif. May 10, 2004 Functional genomics and proteomics have been quite successful in identifying functions of potential therapeutic targets such as encoded proteins. In fact, the possibilities of identifying more than 10,000 novel target antigens in the human genome may accelerate the discovery of new drugs and therapeutic molecules.

"As opposed to conventional sequence homology, functional genomics adds structure-based predictions to locate gene sequences with assigned and confirmed functions," explains Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Rajaram Sankaran. "It simultaneously sifts through well established targets to detect critical therapeutic targets."

Such structural information results in enriched annotations that improve the identification process and also provide a clear understanding of interactions between specific molecules and target proteins.

Additionally, functional genomics opens up the possibilities of genetically demarcating patients and predicting individual responses to drugs. This permits customized medications and dosages that improve treatment safety and efficacy in areas such as neuropsychiatry, cardiovascular medicine, endocrinology, and oncology.

The success of functional genomics is magnified when used in conjunction with combinatorial chemistry (combichem) where a molecular compound is introduced into a compound library to chemically interconvert. It follows a target driven approach wherein, molecular building blocks are designed to react together selectively and covalently.

With an increasing number of new molecular entities (NMEs) entering clinical trials by 2008, a 65 percent increase in NMEs entering the market is expected innovative techniques for 'fast track' drug development and early screening of compounds are being devised.

One such technique gaining popularity is high-throughput screening (HTS) that detects and provides optimization guidelines for lead compounds and validate

Contact: Julia Paulson
Technical Insights

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