LifeMine has amassed a virtually limitless amount of natural biological space to digitally search for new drugs – consisting of a fully curated fungal genome repository of an unprecedented scale. Given their evolutionary proximity to humans, fungi have long been an important source of radically impactful medicines. Drugs derived from fungi often target the same protein in fungi and humans – in fact, fungi are prodigious manufacturers of genetically-encoded small molecules (GEMs) that engage human targets. As such, fungi act as “avatars” to find small molecule therapeutic solutions for human diseases. But discovering these GEMs has heretofore been fraught with difficulty, leaving the precious GEMs just beyond reach. Enter LifeMine, with an entirely new way to discover GEMs, by searching for them algorithmically in genomic space rather than physically in chemical space.
LifeMine’s Avatar-Rx platform seamlessly integrates high-throughput microbiology, data science and machine learning, genome engineering and automation technologies to search the fungal biosphere for novel GEMs having a predetermined target and biological function. Downstream of GEM discovery, LifeMine’s platform further integrates chemoinformatic-assisted drug optimization and state-of-the art chemical synthesis with biotransformation to advance new product candidates into development.
Through our approach, we aim to bring unparalleled speed, predictability and scalability to small molecule drug discovery, offering the potential to rapidly advance multiple high-impact precision medicines to solve intractable disease challenges, irrespective of therapeutic area.