Further development of Serial Crystallography

Villigen, CH, 22nd of August 2016 – Paul Scherrer Institute (“PSI”), an institute of the ETH domain, and leadXpro AG (“leadXpro”), a fast growing start-up company dedicated to structure based drug discovery on membrane proteins, announce a collaboration to advance new approaches for the X-ray data collection technologies at synchrotron (SLS) and Free electron laser (SwissFEL). The project was evaluated and received funding support by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI).

Integral membrane proteins are responsible for key signaling and metabolic mechanisms in humans and are excellent drug targets. leadXpro has deep expertise in protein generation, biophysical and structure-based methods including serial crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), and applies these advanced techniques to the discovery and optimisation of innovative lead compounds targeting membrane proteins, such as GPCRs, ion channels and transporters.

In the collaboration, leadXpro will combine its expertise in protein generation, crystallization and X-ray data analysis with the unique capabilities of PSI in X-ray diffraction techniques and instrumentation as well as the high brilliance X-ray sources at SLS and SwissFEL. The team will evaluate and develop novel methods for crystal delivery and X-ray data collection at room temperature providing a continues flow of crystals that is referred to as serial crystallography. With the new methods, it is anticipated that structure determination will be enabled for crystals that fail traditional X-ray crystallography techniques as well as the improved data collection efficacy.


About Paul Scherrer Institute

The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI develops, builds and operates large, complex research facilities and makes them available to the national and international research community. The institute’s own key research priorities are in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 2000 people, thus being the largest research institute in Switzerland. The annual budget amounts to approximately CHF 370 million. PSI is part of the ETH Domain, with the other members being the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne, as well as Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and WSL (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research).


About leadXpro AG

leadXpro is a lead discovery company focusing on membrane protein drug targets. We are committed to the application of biophysical and structure-based methods for the discovery and optimization of next generation lead compounds. leadXpro’s technology platform enables structural determination of membrane proteins where classical crystallographic techniques fail, unlocking structure-based drug discovery for challenging targets. We capitalize on the knowledge regarding membrane protein structural biology and facilities of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) with premium access to the synchrotron Swiss Light Source (SLS) and the Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL). Core expertise beyond X-ray include single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and electron diffraction (ED). For more information, please visit www.leadxpro.com

leadXpro is a registered trademark in the EU, Switzerland, US and Canada.


Contact Information

Paul Scherrer Institute

  • Jörg Standfuss (Joerg.standfuss@psi.ch)
  • Soichiro Tsujino (Soichiro.Tsujino@psi.ch)
  • Takashi Tomizaki (Takashi.tomizaki@psi.ch)
  • Christine Huber, PSI Technology Transfer (Christine.Huber@psi.ch)


leadXpro AG

  • Michael Hennig, CEO (michael.hennig@leadXpro.com)