AngioDesign Inc. Announces that its Founders have Determined the Crystal
Structure of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE)
Tuesday, January 21, 2003.
AngioDesign Inc., a recently incorporated biotechnology company, announced today
that two of its founders, Ravi Acharya and Edward Sturrock, have determined the 3-
dimensional crystal structure of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). The structure
appeared as an advance online publication in the journal Nature on January 19
(“Crystal structure of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme-lisinopril complex”;
DOI: 10.1038/nature01370; www.nature.com/nature).
ACE inhibitors are widely used to treat cardiovascular diseases, including high blood
pressure, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and kidney failure. However,
current-generation ACE inhibitors, which were developed in the ‘70s and ‘80s, are
hampered by common side effects. ACE consists of two parts (called the N and C
domains) with different functions, and current drugs inhibit both domains. Design of
specific domain-selective ACE inhibitors is expected to produce next-generation
drugs that are safer and more effective.
Next-generation ACE inhibitors can now be created by structure-guided drug design,
using the 3-D structure of ACE determined by the founders of AngioDesign. This
process will involve computational chemistry and molecular modeling using existing
inhibitors as scaffolds, followed by synthesis of new compounds and iterative lead
optimization by drug-ACE co-crystallization. This work will be performed, in part, in
the AngioDesign founders’ labs in Bath, England and Cape Town, South Africa.
Novel C- and N-domain-selective ACE inhibitors will then be evaluated for further
development in partnership with suitable pharmaceutical companies.
About AngioDesign Inc.
AngioDesign Inc., a privately held Delaware corporation based in Lincoln, Nebraska,
is a newly founded biotech start-up focussed on the design of improved, next-
generation drugs for proven disease targets. True validation of therapeutic targets in
the clinic is by far the most costly part of the drug discovery and development
process. AngioDesign will short-circuit the process by applying structure-guided drug
design to proven disease targets and developing 2nd-generation drugs with superior
efficacy and side effect profiles. Patented NCEs (new chemical entities) will then be
advanced into validated drug development paths and licensed to pharmaceutical
companies searching for NCEs with clear blockbuster potential in proven therapeutic
areas. The first class of drugs will be next-generation domain-selective ACE
inhibitors. More information on the company may be found at www.angiodesign.com.
Contact: Bart Holmquist, 402-310-9338, email@example.com.