Norak Biosciences has secured another patent for its Transflour screening technology that could produce drug candidates in a lucrative part of the pharmaceutical market.
Norak had already been awarded patents in Europe and Australia. The company is pursuing others as well.
“We are continuing to file and prosecute a range patents worldwide covering broader claims, modifications and improvements, as well as proprietary targets from our own research using Transfluor technology,” said Roger Blevins, president and CEO of Norak, said in a statement.
Transflour’s platform technology is based on research it licensed from Duke University.
The focus is so-called GPCRs, or G protein-coupled receptors, “the best validated and most lucrative targets for drug discovery,” the company said. Transfluor is a cell-based fluorescence (light or other radiation emitted when a molecule or particle is exposed to radiation or another source such as an X-ray or ultraviolet light — Oxford English Dictionary) bioassay used to screen for GPCR ligands (molecules that bind to another) and other potential drugs that regulate GPCRs.
“The market opportunity for GPCR-based human healthcare products is enormous,” a Norak executive told Local Tech Wire in a corporate profile. “The fewer than 200 known GPCRs (i.e., natural ligand and physiological function are known) account for nearly one fourth of the top-200 selling prescription medications, and worldwide revenue for GPCR-based drugs is estimated to be more than $65 billion annually.”
Norak is focused on other potential candidates as well.
“Importantly, there are 150 so-called orphan GPCRs (i.e., natural ligand and physiological role not yet known) representing targets for the next-generation of GPCR-based drugs,” the executive said.
Norak has raised $16 million in venture financing and earlier this year lined up an additional $5 million in the form of a convertible loan.