Cryo-electron microscopy is revolutionizing rational drug discovery pipelines

Rational design leveraging routine, high resolution protein structure determination is driving the discovery and development of diverse biologic and small molecule therapies. Since the “Resolution Revolution” almost one decade ago, the rapid maturation of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) underpins the dramatic expansion of modalities benefitting from structural information. Cryo-EM delivers rapid epitope mapping on the atomic scale for antibody therapeutics and immune response profiling, supports elucidation of mechanism of action and is also enabling more therapeutic targets than ever before for Structure-Based Drug Design. Whether to modulate binding affinities or to optimize drug stability, all of these questions can be answered in just one day of data collection.

In this live panel, experts from Sanofi will discuss:
  • An overview of how to quickly go from protein to structure
  • Key examples of multi-specific drugs and the structural insights of a CEACAM5-targeting antibody drug conjugate (ADC)
  • How the adoption of Cryo-EM has significantly increased the number of the targets that can be identified for clinical trials in both biopharma and biotech
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Alexey Rak

Alexey Rak

Head of Biostructure and Biophysics, Integrated Drug Discovery, Sanofi

Alexey Rak got his M.Sc. in Biology and Genetics and in Biochemistry. He then completed Ph.D.’s in Biochemistry and Biophysics working on protein biosynthesis machinery characterization. He did his post-Doc and then held a Group Leader position at the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Germany working in the field of vesicular membrane trafficking. For this work he was awarded several honors including European Young Investigator Award in 2004. Since 2007 Alexey joined Sanofi in Paris where he has developed new methods to characterize biomolecular interactions as well as new approaches in protein structure determination including cryo-EM and enabling the lead discovery of challenging protein targets. Alexey is heading the center of excellence in Structural Biology and Biophysics in Sanofi and coordinates Structural biology and biophysics Sanofi-wide.

Anand Kumar

Anand Kumar

Senior Scientist, Sanofi

Anand Kumar is a senior scientist at Integrated drug discovery, Sanofi R&D. He got his master’s degree in life sciences from JNU, New Delhi, India. He then joined the Pasteur Institute, Paris to pursue his Ph.D. in structural biology under the guidance of Dr. Nicolas Reyes, where he delved into the emerging field of cryo-EM. His doctoral research focused on understanding the mode of action of anti-CD20 therapeutic antibodies using cryo-EM. He did a one-year post-doc where he solved the structures of Solute Carrier (SLC) transporters. In 2021, he joined Sanofi as a Cryo-EM scientist to support the drug discovery acceleration and cryo-EM platform.

Kari Abitbol

Kari Abitbol

Director, Client Success, Endpoints News

As head of the client success team at Endpoints News, Kari oversees campaign delivery and strategy for all advertising and client-directed webinars. She brings nearly 20 years of diverse experience across strategic communications, content development and operational leadership.