QBI Life Sciences: Receives NIH Funding to Develop Drug Absorption Assay

MADISON, Wisconsin. – QBI Life Sciences announced today receipt of a phase I award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an assay that would provide an absorption profile for early stage drug candidates. This award follows the report from the US Food and Drug Administration calling on researchers to develop new tools for evaluating the safety of drug candidates early in the drug development process to improve pharmaceutical success rates and to reduce attrition of drug candidates.

Early drug absorption profiling for novel drug candidates is a crucial part of that effort. Current approaches to drug absorption profiling are low-throughput and suffer from difficulties with poor reproducibility and poor compatibility with existing instrumentation.

QBI Life Sciences was chosen by the NIH to receive funding to address these issues because the Company has shown the ability to extract proteins and lipids from selected tissue membranes using PreserveX™ Polymeric Micelles, immobilize those complexes on surfaces and detect the selective attachment of a known drug to the complexes in a predictable fashion.

Working in collaboration with Madison, Wisconsin-based GWC Technologies, QBI Life Sciences will develop a surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi)-based microarray assay for drug absorption profiling in a standardized format.

The basis for this novel assay are the proprietary PreserveX™ Polymeric Micelles from QBI Life Sciences that can solubilize membrane proteins and lipids from natural membranes and form stable micelle-membrane component complexes. These complexes can be effectively immobilized on a SPRi biosensor surface via polymeric tethers. Each GWC Technologies’ SpotReady™ SPRi biosensor chip can accommodate multiple spots with biological membrane components extracted from various tissues thereby allowing analysis in a multiplexed format.

“Getting an early indication of which organs will be most likely to absorb potential drug candidates will be very helpful in assessing the safety of drugs early in the discovery process,” said Dr. Vladimir Trubetskoy, Director of Polymer Chemistry for QBI Life Sciences.  “Achievement of the aims under this grant will enable researchers to predict absorption of drugs quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.”

About QBI Life Sciences

QBI Life Sciences, a division of Quintessence Biosciences, Inc., is the first and only company offering polymeric micelle solutions to study membrane proteins. QBI Life Sciences has developed valuable drug discovery tools including membrane protein stabilizing reagents, as well as surface coatings for membrane proteins and optimal media for cell-surface proteins.

For more information about QBI Life Sciences, visit www.qbilifesci.com