Health. Metabolism. Transporters.

Metabolism is central to the well-functioning of cells and the human body and imbalances in metabolism are associated with virtually all diseases.

Every biological process in the body depends on the availability of building blocks and energy, provided by the flow of nutrients between cells and across organs. Minuscule molecular gating machines, called Solute Carriers or SLCs, are transporters that mediate the movement of substances across membranes – the natural barriers in the cell and the body. As their name, Carriers, suggests, these transporters grab nutrients like sugars, amino acids and ions and move them across the cell membranes. Like dancers, the choreography of their coordinated movements make life possible and their balanced activity makes the difference between health and disease.

We aim to change the course of disease by improving the metabolism of specific cells in selected tissues. The most direct way to control the supply and demand for nutrients is to influence the function of specific Solute Carriers by interfering with their movements.

Unlocking Solute Carriers To Accelerate Drug Discovery

The most important group of these molecular dancers are the Solute Carriers. Recent major scientific advancements have identified many Carriers as potential targets in difficult-to-treat diseases.

The innovative technology platform of Solgate allows us to accelerate the discovery of new drugs against these transporters on a class-wide scale. By monitoring the molecular gates to metabolism, we find small chemical molecules that bind to the gates and restore the intricate metabolic play, like the choreography of dancers in a ballet.

Solute Carriers: A Challenging Target Class

Membrane transporters, as gatekeepers of metabolism, are emerging as important drug targets: by regulating transporters, it is mechanistically possible to modulate metabolite levels in specific tissues of the human body and consequently ameliorate the condition of patients.

Solute Carriers form the largest class of transporters, which includes more than 400 gates expressed in our body. SLCs transport a wide variety of nutrients with unique specificity and affinity.

More than half of the superfamily has been associated with human diseases in every tissue, including clear genetic links to a multitude of therapeutic indications, ranging from neurological syndromes to inflammation and inborn errors of metabolism.

Despite their links to disease, only few of these druggable target proteins are actually addressed by drugs approved to treat patients. The known success cases provide extraordinary examples of how drugs targeting transporters can ameliorate mood disorders, renal impairment, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and constipation.

However, there remains a gap in drug discovery: for most SLC targets, there is still no chemical molecule discovered yet.

An SLC-dedicated Platform

We dedicate our efforts to this one target class of membrane transporters. This allows our technology platform to be tailored for effective hit identification against SLCs, capitalizing on advanced, innovative technologies and the deep SLC expertise of our team.

Our platform enables us to focus on several SLC targets in parallel using cell-based assays executed under physiological settings, and thus accelerates the identification of compound hits. Hits identified by our technology against disease-relevant SLC targets are developed by our team into promising compounds with the desired mode of action, tuned to the relevant pathophysiology we aimed to address. We continuously strive to develop innovative therapeutic modalities against challenging targets by combining our proven experience with world-class research capabilities.