SAN DIEGO--Structural GenomiX has completed a $7.5 million round of initial venture capital funding from Atlas Venture, Prospect Venture Partners, and Appletree Partners. The company uses high-throughput x-ray crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins that serve as targets for pharmaceutical and agriculture compounds, and as antigens for new vaccine development. This structural information is needed to optimally design small molecules that interact specifically with a drug target.
Alex Barkas, managing partner at Prospect Venture Partners, remarked, "Several companies, including Celera, Human Genome Sciences, and Incyte Pharmaceuticals, have set out to define the reference standard for two-dimensional genomic sequence information. We believe Structural GenomiX will be the company creating the standard for three-dimensional protein information."
Structural GenomiX also announced last week that it has appointed George Poste, former chief science and technology officer of SmithKline Beecham, to be chairman of its board. Poste remarked, "The information generated by genomics is still not the information you need to design drugs. By providing detailed three-dimensional structures of large numbers of drug targets, Structural GenomiX will transform the way genomic information is used in the drug discovery process."