Yumanity Therapeutics’ new approach to neurodegenerative disease drug discovery and development concentrates on correcting the cellular pathologies driven by misfolded proteins, and the resulting disease biology or phenotypes. The company’s proprietary platforms are able to identify biological targets which when modulated, correct the toxicities initiated by protein misfolding. This critical capability – the identification of novel targets – in combination with other advances in genetics, research tools, and clinical development approaches, enables us to see a brighter future for some of these historically intractable diseases. Yumanity’s unique approach overcomes the fundamental limitations of the most commonly used strategies in drug discovery today, which have repeatedly failed to deliver effective therapies for these ruinous diseases.
Yumanity Therapeutics’ three integrated platforms enable the company to move back and forth between yeast cells and human patient neurons in a highly iterative and parallel fashion, continually building on lessons learned with multiple protein pathologies in order to accelerate the discovery of novel therapies.
Phenotypic Screening: Several proprietary ultra-high-throughput, phenotypic screening (uHTS) platforms, in which different protein misfolding pathologies are modeled in yeast to help discover compounds to correct these pathologies
IPS Platform: A human neuronal platform, in which neurons produced from the cells of patients with disease-causing genetic mutations are used to validate the molecules discovered in yeast
Drug Target Identification: A drug-target identification platform that exploits the power of yeast genetics and protein network analyses to elucidate mechanisms of action for pathology correcting molecules as new chemical entities are discovered
Yumanity Therapeutics’ three integrated platforms were developed over the years by a team of young scientists in the Lindquist laboratory and transformed into a robust drug discovery engine by the company’s scientific co-founders, Drs. Vikram Khurana, Chee Yeun Chung, and Daniel Tardiff. Drs. Khurana, Chung and Tardiff helped pioneer the integration of yeast and human neuronal systems, coupling genetic and protein-network analyses with yeast ultra-high-throughput screening to accelerate the identification of promising new drug candidates and their molecular targets. The three integrated platforms have been described in multiple peer-reviewed publications.