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Discovery of imaging agents and drug candidates

Published on 29 April 2022

​Nature is full of substances that have evolved over millions of years to provide useful properties for human well-being. Coming from complex and rare environments, these molecules are difficult to identify. We have developed specific strategies to explore and exploit this natural resource in order to identify potential drug candidates. We have optimized the classical strategy consisting in deconvolution cycles of venoms fractions and screening on selected targets. We have also developed the Venomics strategy based on the identification by transcriptomic/proteomic approaches of original toxins sequences that can be produced by recombinant expression or solid-phase peptide synthesis and screen on relevant molecular targets. These two screening strategies, combined with a careful identification of therapeutic targets (G protein coupled receptor and ion channels) linked to a clear therapeutic need, allow us to identify new molecules with interesting pharmacological activities (Reynaud et al., 2020) (Droctove et al., 2020) (Goncalves et al., 2019) (Ciolek et al., 2017).

The Venomics screening strategy: This unique bank of 3600 toxins coming from the omics study of 200 venomous animals allows high throughput screening (HTS) resulting in the discovery of several original peptides interacting with G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).