June 2001, BIOPROJET BIOTECH was created by BIOPROJET’s shareholders
to acquire, in September 2001, the Research Center located at
Saint-Grégoire, near Rennes (Brittany).
The area is more than 10,000 m2
and the laboratories are located on 4,342 m2
equipped with modern scientific instruments.
The main topics are ligands of heptahelical receptors (histamine,
dopamine, edg…) and peptidase inhibitors with potential
therapeutic applications in neuropsychiatry, gastroenterology or
There are 3 units and 45 scientists (Ph.Ds, pharmacists, engineers) or
select potential therapeutic targets (enzymes, receptors) within the
human genome, clone the corresponding genes, express them in mammalian
cells and establish screening models for molecules able to interact
with the targets. This research uses molecular and cellular biology and
modern methodologies e.g medium throughput assays, mRNA quantification,
radioactivity, mass spectrometry, etc.
Scientists start from a
3D-model of the protein, derived from the crystal structure of related
proteins, to suggest testing of selected classes of compounds from
proprietary or commercial libraries. From these initial data, they
design and synthesize original molecules in a rational manner
i.e. establishing SAR and refining the 3D-model. The activity of this
unit represents about 1,000 new molecules synthesized and tested per
Researchers assess the
activity of molecules on cells, then on tissues and, finally, on whole
animals using techniques such as brain microdialysis, in vivo and in
vitro electrophysiology behavioural testing, biochemical assays.
Pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics and safety pharmacology are developed
in the center under Good Laboratory Practices (GLP).
Research and development costs of BIOPROJET represent 55% of its
turnover and the number of researchers 61% of its staff.