Structural Biology Centre

Co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer
Marcin Nowotny, PhD DSc Habil

Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer
Paweł Kustosz, MSc

Business Development Support
Rafał Igielski, MSc

Researchers
Malwina Hyjek, PhD
Agnieszka Napiórkowska, MSc

Technican
Iwona Ptasiewicz (part-time)


SERVICES

The Structural Biology Centre provides services and consultancy in the field of structural biology with an emphasis on supporting drug discovery projects. The venture comprises a complete range of X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy research, called “gene to structure”, that is enriched with the biophysical and biochemical characterization of target-ligand interactions.


EXPERIENCE

Structural Biology Centre cooperates closely with leading pharmaceutical companies in central Europe (e.g., Selvita, Celon Pharma, OncoArendi Therapeutics, Adamed) and with UbiQ Bio in the Netherlands and IONIS Pharmaceuticals in the United States. Structural biology, biophysics and biochemistry services have supported drug discovery efforts for such diseases as cancer, asthma, and depression. Structural Biology Centre solved a crystal structure of OncoArendi’s OATD-01 compound with a target protein. The compound is undergoing clinical trials and in the case of positive results will be the first sarcoidosis drug on the market, with a new mechanism of action (first in class). In addition to profitable commercial projects, Structural Biology Centre also scientifically cooperates with foreign companies from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Such collaborations are an investment in promoting the laboratory by presenting scientific potential, expertise in R&D projects, and a flexible approach to cooperation with industry. The aim of cooperation with IONIS Pharmaceuticals, the leader in RNA-targeted drug discovery, is to develop a new service which supports nucleic acid-based therapeutics discovery. The purpose of the collaboration with the UbiQ Bio is to publish in a high-impact journal to present a new cryo-EM service. Both agreements lead to long-term international trade partnerships.


X-RAY CRYSTALLOGRAPHY - service

X-Ray crystallography is a well-established and routine method the team has applied in numerous R&D and scientific projects. A remarkable advantage is unique expertise in the crystallization of protein-nucleic acid complexes. This expertise can be used to understand the mode of action of nucleic acid-based therapeutic agents and to understand the mechanism of nucleic acid enzymes to devise better strategies of their inhibition. One good example of therapeutically important but underexplored nucleic acid enzymes are proteins that are involved in DNA repair.


CRYO-EM – service

In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.” This novel approach enables the determination of high-resolution structures of proteins under near native condition at close to atomic resolution and complements existing atomic-resolution approaches, such as X-ray crystallography. Recent publications show that cryo-EM can be used to investigate a broad spectrum of drug-target interactions with routine resolution of ~4 Å, possibly up to 2 Å. Cryo-EM enables the analysis of proteins or protein complexes with a molecular weight ≥ 150 kDa (e.g., antibodies and membrane proteins) that are otherwise difficult or impossible to analyze using other structural biology methods.


EXPERTISE

The success of the company derives from the highest level of expertise in science, advanced skills, and the excellent quality of services that are rendered. It offers the extensive experience of top scientists in biomedicine research with significant scientific output (publications in such journals as Cell, Molecular Cell, and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology) and recipients of prestigious research grants. The laboratory also promotes its operations through biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry conferences and events, such as BioEurope, BioEurope Spring, BioJapan, BioFIT, and Life Sciences Baltics.


CUSTOMIZATION

The modular service packages meet the needs of business clients in state-of-the art, flexible, and custom-made projects and protect the Intellectual Property rights of the clients at every step. With ongoing projects, the project manager keeps in touch with clients on progress throughout the project to ensure maximum success.


DATA PROTECTION

For secure data exchange with our partners, we are using Office 365 Cloud Services–OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. If the company has a different system, then we are ready to open an independent sub-account for it or use another system.


STARTING NEW PROJECTS AND RISK SHARING

Each project starts with a feasibility assessment. Afterward, preliminary experiments are conducted at a price of the operational costs (risk sharing). When the Structural Biology Centre delivers satisfactory project results, the final price consists entirely of a success fee.


THE STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY CENTRE OFFERS A FLEXIBLE APPROACH TO THE MOST ADVANCED RESEARCH IN:

- Preparation of expression constructs.

- Recombinant protein production in bacteria, yeast, LEXSY, baculovirus-insect cells, and mammalian cells.

- X-ray crystallography of protein or protein-ligand complexes (structure-based drug design, hit-to-lead, and structure-based lead optimization).

- Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with the goal of determining high-resolution structures of macromolecules with a molecular weight ≥ 150 kDa.

- Biophysical/biochemical characterization of target-ligand interactions (e.g., Biacore SPR, ITC, fluorescence anisotropy), assay design, and optimization.