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cryoSPARC: Enabling Drug Discovery

Rational drug design has long been a sought-after goal of medical research. In rational drug design, drugs are designed to directly target a disease or ailment by using detailed knowledge of the atomic resolution structure of the cellular mechanisms that are involved. This is in contrast to how drugs have been designed for many years where drugs are painstakingly tested to determine their effects and success is based primarily on chance, rather than design.

Electron Cryomicroscopy (Cryo-EM) is a new method for determining the atomic resolution structure of molecules like these and has demonstrated advantages over existing methods for structure determination.

In 2014, major advances in a structural biology technique called Cryo-EM made it possible to obtain 3D proteins at the high resolutions required for drug discovery. Yet, Cryo-EM is still in its infancy and tools and methods for processing the data are currently limited. Further, currently there are no viable commercial software offerings for Cryo-EM.

We aim to fill that gap by further developing state of the art methods and commercial software called cryoSPARC. cryoSPARC will support both academic research endeavors and enable pharmaceutical companies to obtain 3D protein structures via Cryo-EM. It is the only technology currently available that can support high through-put Cryo-EM in drug discovery.

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