Opening the door to ligand-based drug discovery: a rapid and accurate technology for determining bioactive 3D molecular shapes

Impact: Economic impacts, Health impacts, Technological impacts


A critical step in drug discovery is accurate determination of bioactive 3-dimensional structures of biologically-relevant molecules. Almond and Blundell’s proprietary method for analysing Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) data has led to a world-first capability and establishment of the company Conformetrix (renamed C4X Discovery in 2013). The platform technology ('MolGyrate') is used to determine the dynamic 3-dimensional-conformation of biologically relevant molecules directly from NMR data within weeks, compared with months to years for traditional methods. C4X Discovery has secured substantial private investment (the company has not disclosed the amount). In 2012 AstraZeneca began to apply the technology across their entire pre-clinical therapeutic pipeline to enhance lead discovery and hit identification.

Category of impact

  • Economic impacts
  • Health impacts
  • Technological impacts

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