The decision by the three drugmakers to join forces with academia to
generate high-resolution pictures of hundreds of proteins known as
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is part of a growing trend to
pool early-stage drug research.
GPCRs, which are implicated in many disease processes, are a hot
topic of research and scientists working in the field were awarded
the Nobel Prize for Chemistry two years ago.
GPCRs serve as a main conduit for chemicals to get past a cell's
membrane. They are already highly valued as targets for drug
interventions but mechanistically they are poorly understood.
Better information about their structure could help in the hunt for
new drug candidates, the partners in the new GPCR Consortium
The three collaborating academic research institutes are the iHuman
Institute at ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai Institute of Materia
Medica and the University of Southern California.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)
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