Our Focus

Structure-Guided Drug Design

BioCryst’s structure-guided approach to drug design uses an iterative process to increase selectivity and enable efficient, rapid drug development.

Fighting the disease at the active site
In structure-guided drug design, scientists use detailed knowledge of the active sites of protein targets associated with particular diseases to design synthetic compounds that fight the disease. The active site of an enzyme is the area into which a chemical or biological molecule fits to initiate a biochemical reaction. Structure-guided drug design aims to create a molecule that will bind to the active site of a targeted enzyme, thereby preventing the normal chemical reaction and ultimately halting the progression of the disease.

BioCryst’s structure-guided drug design involves the integrated application of traditional biology and medicinal chemistry along with an array of advanced technologies, including x-ray crystallography, computer modeling of molecular structures, virtual screening, and protein biophysical chemistry to focus on the three-dimensional structure of the active site of the target enzyme.

By identifying the target protein in advance, and by determining molecular structure of the protein, our scientists design a more optimal drug to interact with the protein. BioCryst’s scientists design and synthesize drug candidates atom by atom, to fit the active site on the protein, thereby suppressing its biological activity. The initial targets for structure-guided drug design are selected based on their involvement in the biological pathways integral to the course of a disease.

Therapeutic Focus

We concentrate on developing drugs for rare diseases in which patient needs are still largely unmet.

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