US-based research-driven biotechnology company Integral Molecular has begun a therapeutic target discovery programme in immuno-oncology by utilising its membrane proteome array technology to identify cell-surface proteins that regulate the ability of the human immune system to recognise and destroy cancer.

The biotech firm develops therapeutic antibodies against under-exploited membrane protein targets, including G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, transporters, and viral envelope proteins.

Integral Molecular chief executive officer Benjamin Doranz said: “No other platform has systematically explored the role of GPCRs, ion channels, and transporters in the immuno-oncology space."

Doranz further added that the company’s capabilities in this area have already resulted in the discovery of new immune protein interactions, and we expect to identify more with our novel approach.

"No other platform has systematically explored the role of GPCRs, ion channels, and transporters in the immuno-oncology space."

Integral Molecular’s membrane proteome array is a cell-based screening platform, comprising 5,300 unique membrane proteins expressed in live human cells.

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The company uses the technology to identify entirely novel immuno-oncology protein interactions, in addition to validating therapeutic axes such as PD1/PD-L1.

The membrane proteome array platform can be best used to discover new therapeutic targets as each membrane protein is expressed in its functional form on the surface of live human cells, thereby allowing signalling and binding assays to detect functional interactions.

Also, the 5,300 membrane proteins that form the platform represent the largest library of its kind, involving more than 95% of all known IgV-set proteins and GPCRs.

Image: The seven-transmembrane α-helix structure of a G protein-coupled receptor. Photo: courtesy of Bensaccount at English Wikipedia.