Novel Protein-Like Synthetic Polymers with Superior Properties as Therapeutics, Diagnostics and Targeted Delivery Agents

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Monday, June 20, 2022

The engineering of biopolymers for new applications has led to a biotechnology revolution in many fields such as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and catalysis. However, biopolymers are largely limited to natural building blocks such as amino acids, nucleic acids and carbohydrates. The ever-growing list of synthetic scaffolds generated in medicinal chemistry offer unlimited diversity in synthetic non-natural sequence-defined polymers with novel structure and function. However, until recently, screening methods to identify synthetic polymers with desired function has been a bottleneck in their discovery. In this webinar, the featured speaker will introduce novel protein-like synthetic polymers as therapeutics, diagnostics and targeted delivery agents.


SRI’s TechneinTM Discovery Platform is a new methodology that enables the production and screening of libraries of non-natural sequence-defined polymers — called “Techneins” — with up to 50+ residues in length comprising 107 to 109 compounds. A self-readable polymer design facilitates sequencing sensitivity at femtomole scale so that libraries can be chemically synthesized on 10 to 20 micron diameter beads. Using the one-bead-one compound (OBOC) approach the library size can be maximized while minimizing cost of synthesis. Techneins are synthesized with combinations of natural and synthetic drug-like building blocks to modulate biostability, immunogenicity and pharmacokinetic properties. As such, techneins are designed to mimic biological molecules with the synthetic customizability of small molecules with superior binding, selectivity and stability. In particular, techneins have pharmacokinetic properties similar to or better than small molecules in terms of circulation half-life and biostability.

The platform screening method utilizes a proprietary Fiber-optic Array Scanning Technology (FAST) for screening OBOC libraries against fluorescently-labeled targets with an unprecedented throughput of five million beads per minute. Screening hits are generally identified in less than ten working days from receipt of the target molecule. The FAST screening platform enables not only screening for affinity agents but also the design of functional screening assays including competition, selectivity and engager screens. This method identifies technein affinity agents and protein-protein interaction inhibitors with nanomolar to picomolar affinities.

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Techneins utilization with the FAST screening platform enables the discovery of high-stability affinity reagents for diverse types of target molecules including proteins, small molecules and even metal ions. In addition to finding drug leads for challenging targets such as Kirsten rat sarcoma virus (KRAS), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) modulation, techneins have also been utilized as targeted delivery agents by engaging cell surface receptors such as liver-specific receptor ASialoGlycoProtein Receptor (ASGPR). Examples of the development of techneins-based therapeutic agents for a variety of applications will be discussed.

Register for this webinar to learn about a molecular discovery platform for synthetic polymers that can be used in drug discovery, diagnostics and targeted delivery agents with tunable and customizable properties of potency, selectivity, stability and pharmacokinetic properties.


Michal Avital-Shmilovici, SRI International

Michal Avital-Shmilovici, Principal Scientist, SRI International

Dr. Michal Avital-Shmilovici received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Chicago, working in chemical synthesis of natural and non-natural proteins. She used modern solid-phase peptide synthesis, native chemical ligation and folding methods to improve understanding of the biology behind large molecule drugs and advance progress in the development of therapeutics.

In 2015, she joined the Biosciences Division at SRI International to help establish the Technein Discovery Platform. This platform, based around SRI’s Fiber-optic Array Scanning Technology (FAST), enables the rapid discovery of synthetic biological-polymer-like molecules (called TechneinsTM) to be used as therapeutics, diagnostics and targeted delivery agents. As a Principal Scientist, she currently leads the Technein Discovery Platform program and has discovered a pipeline of high-affinity Techneins that are being developed against a wide range of targets for both therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • Pharmaceutical R&D Professionals
  • Pharmaceutical Executives and Thought Leaders
  • Biomarker Discovery Diagnostics R&D Professionals
  • Directors, Biotherapeutics
  • R&D Scientists
  • Medicinal Chemists
  • Peptide Chemists
  • Pharmaceutical Program Development and Management
  • Translational Researchers
  • Pharmaceutical Business Development

What You Will Learn

Attendees will learn about:

  • A novel molecular discovery platform for synthetic protein-like molecules (called TechneinsTM) with infinite building block diversity to discover ligands, inhibitors and engagers with nanomolar to picomolar affinity
  • Techneins can be developed against virtually any type of target molecule, including complex proteins, peptides, small molecules and metal ions
  • Techneins are designed to mimic biological drugs but with superior properties of potency, selectivity and biological and thermal stability
  • How to routinely perform target-to-hit process using a novel scanning technology in about two weeks

Xtalks Partner

SRI International

SRI International, a non-profit research institute founded in 1946 and headquartered in Menlo Park, California, creates world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive. SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, integrates basic biomedical research with drug and diagnostics discovery, and preclinical and clinical development. SRI Biosciences has advanced more than 175 drugs to clinical trials, and approximately 20 have reached the market. The division is focused on novel platforms and programs in a variety of therapeutic areas targeting Discovery through Preclinical development in high unmet medical need areas. SRI Biosciences collaborates with a broad range of partners from small and virtual biotechnology companies to top pharmaceutical companies and other leading industry partners. More information is available at

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