Undertaking complex discovery chemistry

We have the skills and staying power to successfully solve drug discovery problems.

Our drug discovery chemistry lab research capability is world-leading. Many of our staff members are internationally recognized leaders in their field and more than 80 percent hold PhDs.

Through our partnerships with the Ferrier Research Institute and Callaghan Innovation, we have the largest combined concentration of carbohydrate chemistry and polymer drug discovery capability in the world.

We take reporting seriously, sharing share full process descriptions and regular progress reports throughout the life of every project. We aim to guide you from drug discovery and development right through to successful regulatory submissions.

We excel in

Complex multistep synthesis

Carbohydrates, small molecules, and polymers

Rational drug design

Experts in computational modelling and biochemistry

Chemistry route selection

Improving the efficiency of your process

Chemistry optimization

Control and consistency between batches

A strong track record

From carbohydrate synthesis, to small molecules, from enzyme inhibitors to glycan synthesis and vaccine adjuvants, we have a strong track record for ground breaking work.

We cherish the working relationships with our international partners that allow us to combat some of the world’s most serious diseases.

Enzyme inhibitors treating aggressive lymphomas

Thanks to our rational drug design approach and tireless resolution of complex chemistry problems, a treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is now helping people with few other options.

Forodesine hydrochloride was first conceived by our long-time collaborator Professor Vern Schramm from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. It was first synthesised by Professors Peter Tyler and Richard Furneaux at the Ferrier Research Institute, GlycoSyn’s drug discovery partner. It is the active ingredient in the drug Mundesine, helping those people whose PTCL has relapsed or is resistant to treatment.

Advancing the possibilities for treating Alzheimer’s disease

Heparan sulfate, despite being naturally present in all animal systems, has been a very complicated molecule to synthesise due to its inordinate number of variant structures. Working with Jerry Turnbull of the University of Liverpool in the UK, we have overcome many hurdles to manufacture a synthetic heparan sulfate small molecule.

Our approach harnesses the natural ability of heparan sulfates to control the degradation of proteins in the brain that cause memory loss. Ongoing development is underway to use these molecules to target a particular enzyme in the brain that creates small toxic compounds. This enzyme is believed to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

Novel cancer vaccines and adjuvants

We’ve worked with the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research to develop synthetic vaccines that educate our immune systems to recognize and attack cancer cells.

Our expertise as carbohydrate synthesis specialists positioned us perfectly for this challenge. We’ve been able to detect differences between the carbohydrates present on the cell surface of all normal and diseased tissue and mimic the carbohydrate-based danger signals that trigger an immune response.

Our ambition is to develop a synthetic cancer vaccine technology that can activate the patient’s own immune system to provide a targeted immune response to their cancer. We took a great stride towards achieving this in 2019, when we manufactured GMP material for a first-in-human clinical trial, investigating this adjuvant technology for a melanoma vaccine.

“For clients, it’s a winning combination. You access the best scientists to develop chemistry concepts in complete confidentiality, you own any improvements made for you within the GlycoSyn business model, and you can also ask GlycoSyn to take your drug compounds from the laboratory bench to manufacture for use in human clinical trials and commercial applications.

All this in the secure knowledge that your compound, and its documentation, will be treated with the same level of superior attention, confidentiality and quality assurance throughout.”

Dr Richard Furneaux
Director of Discovery Chemistry, GlycoSyn

Some of our Success Stories

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