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RiboTargets is first tenant for Bioincubator

Posted on 21 June 2002

RiboTargets, a structure-based drug discovery company that develops novel anti-bacterial and anti-cancer therapeutics, has begun research at its new facilities in the recently opened York Bioincubator building.

Headed by Rod Hubbard, Director of Structural Sciences for RiboTargets and Professor of Structural Biology at the University of York, the operation has been set up to utilise the world renowned expertise of the University's Structural Biology Laboratory.

RiboTargets, who are headquartered in Cambridge, UK, are the first tenant to move into the flagship incubator and have installed specialised X-ray diffraction and computing equipment to determine high-resolution protein structures at high throughput. Professor Hubbard's team of specialist structural biologists demonstrated their expertise by elucidating the crystal structures of various ligands bound to the chaperone protein, HSP90. This research was completed within two weeks of the team moving into the facility and forms part of RiboTargets' portfolio of anti-cancer therapeutics programmes. The HSP90 study is being performed in collaboration with the Institute of Cancer Research.

Simon Sturge, RiboTargets' CEO, commented, "York has a concentration of structural biology expertise, the infrastructure and a world-class reputation for research, that makes it the natural choice for locating this research and development centre. The work being carried out will accelerate our discovery activities, particularly in anti-cancer."

Notes to editors:

  • RiboTargets is a privately owned pharmaceutical drug discovery company focused on the development of novel anti-bacterial and anti-cancer therapeutics. These therapeutic areas represent significant market opportunities.
    • The Company has created and validated a proprietary structure-based drug discovery engine that allows the rapid identification and optimisation of drug candidates against both protein and nucleic acid targets using high throughput computer-aided and experimental drug design.
    • Over the last four years, RiboTargets has made the transition from a technology platform company into a competitive drug discovery company. RiboTargets' goal for 2002 is to make the pivotal step from research into formal drug development. In the longer term, RiboTargets aims to become a significant player in the anti-bacterial and anti-cancer markets. See the website at
  • The York Bioincubator building is located on York Science Park adjacent to the University of York. The Park was first established in 1991, and of the 22 acres set aside for development 18.5 have been utilised, and almost 800 employees work in 31 companies on the site.
  • The Structural Biology Group is an interdisciplinary group based in the University's Department of Chemistry which studies protein structure and function by a variety of techniques including molecular biology, protein crystallography, and molecular graphics and modelling. The laboratory is one of the best equipped in Europe, with the most advanced crystallographic data collection, molecular graphics and computing equipment; it is also one of the largest, with about 60 research scientists.
  • The Group was involved in solving the structure of the oestrogen receptor, one of the crucial receptors targeted by drugs in the treatment of a variety of women's health problems including breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153