Years of research in the academic setting led scientific founders Shen Yu and Fred Ausubel to observe that rapidly proliferating cells exhibit drastically different phenotypes depending on available nutrients and carbon sources. Most whole-cell screening methods make use of culture conditions optimized robust growth that may not be relevant to actual disease state. Through careful study of central metabolic processes in bacteria, Octagon has developed a discovery platform that evaluates phenotype and drug-response in many engineered growth conditions. This platform has identified novel therapeutic targets and small molecule inhibitors that are invisible in standard culture conditions. Octagon has applied these insights to the development of novel medicines for infectious disease and autoimmune disorders such as lupus nephritis, scleroderma, and interstitial lung disease. The underlying platform holds further promise in identifying the metabolic pathways that drive tropism of metastatic cancer.
Octagon’s discovery platform is being applied to additional promising compound libraries through collaboration with industry and academia. Contact us here to learn more about discovery partnership opportunities.