FEI, NovAliX to jointly provide cryo-EM-based structural analysis services for pharmaceutical and biotech industry

FEI and NovAliX, a contract research organization (CRO), announced today a strategic partnership to enable NovAliX to provide commercial cryo-electron microscopy (EM)-based structural analysis services to its customers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. NovAliX has integrated a cryo-EM workflow based on a transmission electron microscope (TEM). The collaboration combines application, training, and support with on-site personnel from FEI.

“There is a growing demand for structural studies from the pharmaceutical industry, driven by the need for a deeper scientific understanding, and also because of stronger regulatory constraints. In the field of biologics, EM analysis has proven to be capable of delivering critical information for antibody selection, epitope mapping and formulation. As for small molecules research programs, cryo-EM can be uniquely valuable to obtain structural information on multi-protein complexes or membrane proteins, which is key to understanding the structure-function relationship,” said Denis Zeyer, CEO, NovAliX.

TEM-based structural analysis has emerged as an important complementary technique to traditional methods, such as X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Although TEM lacks the atomic-scale resolution of those techniques, it can look at a broader range of structures under conditions much closer to the native intracellular environment.

Zeyer added:

During the latest NovAliX conference, we have witnessed the interest and the relevance of biophysical tools in drug discovery. So, this new offering will nicely complement our structural biology and biophysical platform that includes X-ray, NMR, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and native mass spectrometry (native MS). Now with cryo-EM available, NovAliX scientists are able to deliver critical insights into the biology of protein complexes. Indeed, we will be able to fit X-ray structural results of individual proteins with a global structural view of the complex obtained by cryo-EM, which is otherwise not easily accessible.

Peter Fruhstorfer, vice president and general manager of FEI’s Life Sciences Business states:

We are extremely pleased to be able to work with a leading contract research organization like NovAliX. The power and value of cryo-EM based structural analysis is evident from the quality of recent publications by academic and industry researchers. This collaboration with NovAliX is an important step in the broader commercialization and industrialization of the technology.

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