Nearly 40 percent of current drug targets – for diseases including diabetes, cancer and mental disorders – come from a family of proteins, called GPCRs, about which little is known. But an international group of pharma partners have formed an open-source, pre-competitive collaboration, called the GPCR Consortium, to solve the protein structures and understand modes of action.
The four newest members, announced today, include: Pfizer, Inc. (United States), H. Lundbeck A/S (Denmark), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), and Taisho Pharmaceutical (Japan).
“We have now attained a critical mass that we feel is optimum to achieve our scientific goals of obtaining structure-function data for at least 200 of the most druggable or potentially druggable GPCRs,” said Dr. Michael Hanson, president of the GPCR Consortium.
These common drug targets, the GPCRs (G-protein coupled receptors) play a major role in communication between cells and their environments, making them the linchpin of many biological functions. The data being generated by the GPCR Consortium are critical in understanding these processes at the molecular level and in helping to develop the next generation of GPCR-targeted drugs.
All research outputs of the GPCR Consortium will be placed in the public domain. The GPCR Consortium, which also includes academic members, expects to begin publishing its first data within the year.