Drug modalities

Pioneering new approaches to drug discovery

Many future scientific breakthroughs will result from the use of new technologies. As a result, the medicines of tomorrow will be different from those of today. We are on a quest to transform and, ultimately, cure diseases.

To get there, we need to be able to target any novel biology we uncover. That’s why we are making our drug platforms more diverse, expanding beyond the traditional small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and peptides.

Advancements in biotechnology have expanded our toolkit of drug modalities. This provides an opportunity to design therapeutics for disease mechanisms previously considered difficult, if not impossible, to target and enables our scientists to pioneer new approaches to drug discovery.

The importance of considering molecular size in drug discovery

The size of the molecule is an important consideration in drug discovery. For example, Anticalin® proteins, which are approximately 25kDa, can be used in a similar fashion to monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) but due to their smaller size, open up the options for drug delivery to non-injectable routes such as inhalation to the lung.  

The size of a molecule in drug discovery determines how and where it can act within the body, and how it can be administered. For example, small molecules, which are less than 1kDa, are able to pass across cell membranes to reach targets in the cell, and most are delivered orally. Conversely, large molecules such as MAbs which can be as large as 700-800kDa, are generally not cell permeable which restricts them to targets outside the cell. These tend to be delivered via injectable administration routes.