Drug Discovery Platform
NGM's unique drug discovery platform leverages information garnered from clinical studies and human genetic association experiments, and has focused its research on identifying novel targets that exhibit powerful physiological effects and are implicated in human disease. The Company’s discovery platform integrates sophisticated bioinformatics capabilities, relevant in vivo disease models and a rapid system to assess the physiological activity of prospective targets in these models.
NGM’s drug discovery approach capitalizes on emerging data on cardio-metabolic phenomena following gastric bypass (GBP) surgery in patients with metabolic diseases. Studies in both rodent models and humans have shown that the pattern of GI hormone secretion is significantly altered as normal metabolic balance is restored after GBP surgery.
NGM seeks to translate this striking observation into the discovery of important new drugs based on the hormones in the GI tract that are changed as a consequence of GBP surgery. NGM aspires to identify the key hormones that regulate rapid weight loss and normalize metabolic conditions, including blood glucose and lipid levels, following GBP surgery in humans. In turn, these efforts enable the development of powerful new therapeutics for the treatment of an array of metabolic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2D), dyslipidemia and other disorders related to dysregulated metabolism.
The touchstone for NGM's discovery platform is the observation that laboratory models of GBP surgery faithfully recapitulate human clinical data, providing a foundation for understanding the human biology of cardio-metabolic conditions. The use of such models, together with the Company’s collection of clinical samples from human GBP surgery patients, comprises an important competitive advantage. Moreover, the incorporation of surgical models early in the process enables NGM to bridge in vivo experiments and human clinical studies in a research setting. NGM’s approach is to identify and evaluate the physiological role of potential new drug candidates, leading to the establishment of an integrated target evaluation platform composed of refined GBP surgical procedures, bioinformatics capabilities and a robust in vivo screening system to assess the function of putative targets in laboratory disease models. This strategy is highly differentiated from conventional discovery platforms that are solely based on in vitro or ‘test tube’ experiments, and often generate results that do not correlate with human biological activity. To date, NGM has identified peptide, protein and antibody targets with intriguing metabolic effects and is actively pursuing drug candidates for development.