G-Protein coupled receptors, better known as GPCRs, are a large family of surface cell receptors that respond to a range of external stimuli and play a pivotal role in modern pharmacology owing to their significant function in cell communication. Presently, more than 40% of all prescription pharmaceuticals available in the market target GPCRs. Over the years, a wide range of GPCR assays have been developed for effective drug delivery. The global GPCRs market is estimated to grow consistently in the coming years due to growing demand for advanced GPCR assays for drug discovery and ADME toxicity studies.
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GPCRs transmit signals from outside the cell to its interior. When an external substance (pharmaceutical component) attaches to a GPCR, it activates a G protein inside the cell to create a specific cellular reaction. Effective drug delivery to specific cells plays an important role in the treatment of various forms of cancer and nervous system disorders. Increasing prevalence of cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory diseases has propelled the demand for GPCR assays for targeted drug delivery. The research and development of technologically advanced GPCR assays and platforms have led to increased government initiatives to collaborate with private partners.
New Study Reveals Previously Unidentified Signalling Pathways of GPCRs
In spite of the high costs involved in the maintenance of cell lines and costly equipment, the global GPCRs market has a huge opportunity to grow with the surging demand for GPCR assays. New studies have revealed the complex mechanism of GPCRs to select and activate G proteins they are designed to work with. Researchers at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have developed detailed “fingerprints” of a class of GPCRs that can prove highly useful for drug development. The study, published in the journal Science Signalling, has shown the complexity of how GPCRs activate their binding partners to trigger a range of signalling actions. The findings reveal the signalling pathways of individual GPCRs that would be helpful therapeutically.
According to therapeutic area, the global GPCRs market has been segmented into immune system, respiratory system, reproductive system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, oncology, and others including urinary, abdominal, and orthopaedics. In 2013, oncology was the largest therapeutic segment of the global GPCRs market. The segment includes several prime cancer therapeutic areas such as lung cancer, leukaemia, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and other malignant tumours.
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Pharmaceutical Companies Partnering for Drug Development at GPCR Targets
The growing demand for GPCR assays across various therapeutic areas has led pharmaceutical companies to collaborate for drug development. Heptares Therapeutics has recently signed a partnership with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to develop new drugs aimed at 10 GPCR targets across multiple therapeutic areas. The partnership is expected to generate over US$1.89 bn if new drugs are developed for the GPCR targets. For conditions such as schizophrenia, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, migraine, and others, an increasing number of pharmaceutical firms are focussing on treatments targeting GPCRs. This will further propel the global GPCRs market.