Going 3D

A French biotech start-up plans to launch an international consortium aimed at revealing the three-dimensional crystal structure of 100 cell membrane proteins, many of which could be promising drug targets. The 3-year, $9.3 million project, led by BioXtal in Roubaix, France, has the support of 18 major pharmaceutical companies including Roche, Novartis, Glaxo-SmithKline, AstraZeneca, Merck KGaA, Genencor, Takeda, and four academic labs in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. This initiation is the first to focus on membrane proteins. The targets will be 'G' protein-coupled receptors.

Science Vol. 291, February 2001