The platform P4, together with networks integrated in the FCI, allows to support drug development projects at any stage of the value chain. In early development projects, for example, fragment-based screening, conventional high-throughput screening methods from extensive target libraries, or phenotypic screens can be used to identify and advance novel inhibitors. Selectivity screens as well as mechanistic cell-based assay systems can be developed together with the platform P4 and our expertise in medicinal chemistry methods allows rapid optimization of identified lead structures. New pharmacologically active modalities such as PROTACs (Proteolysis Targeting Chimeras) have also been successfully developed.
In parallel, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) will contribute so-called DARPin libraries (designed ankyrin repeat proteins). DARPins can recognize suitable target structures in tumor cells and selectively inactivate them. The PEI has established the necessary selection procedures to generate DARPins against new target structures identified in the FCI.
In addition to the possibility of developing molecularly targeted small molecule drugs, Frankfurt’s Blutspendedienst also has production lines for cell-based therapeutics in accordance with GMP standards. At the Georg-Speyer-Haus and the University Hospital, for example, pioneering work has been done in recent years in the development of CAR-NK cells for adoptive immunotherapy, and a first phase I trial is conducted in patients with relapsed ErbB2-positive glioblastoma.