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Overview

 

Glycanics are a part of a developing chemical space in drug discovery. They are ideally suited to modulate protein-protein interactions mediated by extended interacting surfaces, such as the interactions of growth factors with their cell surface receptors. Small molecules are not good inhibitors of these types of protein-protein interactions because they don’t occupy enough space on the interacting surfaces. To date large biologicals (e.g. monoclonal antibodies) are the compounds that have been examined in this regard. Although growth factor-receptor interactions are validated drug targets for many diseases, the marketed drugs that inhibit these interactions are very limited.

 

The advantages of Glycanics over biologicals and small molecules are numerous. Glycanics are very stable at room temperature giving them a long shelf life. Their size is intermediate between that of small molecules and biologicals (e.g. antibodies) and they are very soluble in aqueous solutions, massively simplifying delivery formulations. Biologicals are large, necessitating delivery by injection. They are very expensive to manufacture and have a short shelf life, requiring careful storage. Small molecules generally have poor solubility in aqueous solutions and require complex formulations for delivery.

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