Reshaping Target ID, Drug Discovery and Development
The world’s first human extracellular matrix-based platform for target identification and drug discovery.
of drugs fail during during clinical development
Just 12% of drugs that enter clinical development are ultimately successfully approved for market use. Candidates often fail due to lack of efficacy when finally tested in humans in late-stage trials. One major contributor to this high rate of failure is thought to be the limitations of current in vitro and in vivo models used in research.
Most target and drug discovery programmes rely on in vitro testing of mammalian cells grown on artificial substrates in single-layer sheets or artificial 3D substrates, which does not accurately represent the composition of human tissues and ignores the role of ECM. To improve the success rate of drug discovery, we are thinking beyond cells alone, incorporating the human extracellular matrix (ECM) into our models to recreate the natural microenvironment more closely.
Engitix is reshaping drug discovery by including bioactive healthy and diseased human ECM as a key component for studying tissue fibrosis and solid tumours.
The study of ECM is an overlooked area of drug discovery and we are addressing this gap by dissecting how the ECM regulates organ structure and function and how ECM remodelling affects disease progression.
This will identify novel and/or more relevant therapeutic targets by deciphering both the unique composition of this acellular environment during disease development and progression, and the biology of the diseased ECM in driving tissue fibrosis, solid tumours and tissue metastasis.
The process of ECM remodelling is a common denominator driving the progression of tissue fibrosis and solid tumours. Dysregulation of ECM composition, structure, stiffness and abundance contributes to these pathological conditions.
Present in all tissues, the ECM continuously undergoes controlled remodelling mediated by specific enzymes that are responsible for ECM degradation, such as metalloproteinases. The ECM interacts with cells to regulate diverse functions, including proliferation, migration and differentiation.
Our human ECM-based discovery platform is applicable to multiple organs, indications, fields and therapeutic modalities.
Often overlooked in discovery efforts, the ECM is the bioactive acellular environment that provides structural and biochemical support to cells, and it dictates cellular phenotype.