After going down different drug discovery paths, Genentech vets reunite at Foresite Labs to map the 'protein interactome'
Throughout Zach Sweeney’s eight-year research stint at Roche/Genentech, one project stuck with him (quite literally): a program studying LRRK2.
Scientists knew early on there were genetic variants of the LRRK2 gene associated with rare familial forms of Parkinson’s disease, but they didn’t quite know how best to approach it as a target. Sweeney’s colleague Don Kirkpatrick managed to find the exact site that increased kinase activity — paving the way to developing an antibody that became a flagship drug and was later licensed by the team of Genentech vets who founded Denali. Last year, Biogen teamed up with the neuroscience startup on the drug in a deal worth over $1 billion.
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