NonExomics’ science and platform, developed over 8 years of rigorous academic and industry research, mines novel disease-associated proteins from the entire human genome.
NonExomics, LLC was founded in Boston, US, by scientists, Ruchi Chauhan and Sudhakaran Prabakaran from Harvard and Cambridge Universities in 2016 and it was incorporated as NonExomics, Inc. in 2021 and raised its first pre-seed round.
The founders and scientists at NonExomics have the foresight, expertise, & intellectual property to be leaders in this new area of therapeutic discovery with the largest untouched reserves of drug targets
Over the last 50 years it was presumed that only 1−2% of the human genome – which we call as genes – generate proteins. The remaining 98% of the genome was shown to consist of non-coding RNA, untranslated regions, splice sites and transposable elements. Most of the functions of these elements are unknown and hence they were designated as the dark genome. Therefore, the entire basis for biomedical discovery and research focused on a small region of the genome.
Without understanding what the entire genome does it is impossible to interpret biological functions and investigate the consequence of genomic disruptions that occur in diseases. Up until now, we have been looking for clues to treat diseases using this sparse knowledge and never looked beyond. This is partially because we did not have the technology and algorithms but it was majorly because of the conservativeness in our perception of nature’s ability. For example, we have largely stuck to what a gene should look like, what a protein should look like etc.
The other factor that lead to the slow progress in our understanding of biology is the development of technologies in silos. For example, genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics technologies evolved almost in isolation and there was no cross talk and integration of data.
All the above impediments prohibited our complete understanding of the genome and hence our ability to cure diseases.
Founders of NonExomics are pioneers of this exciting area of science. In their first body of work published in 2014 in the journal Nature Communications they showed that proteins are pervasively made from the whole genome and they are biologically regulated. Based on these findings Sudhakaran started his own academic lab at the University of Cambridge and expanded on this research for the next five years.
His academic group under his direction made startling discoveries that were published in 7 high impact scientific journals. His group established that these previously undiscovered noncanonical proteins are generated because of true biological needs, and that like all known proteins these noncanonical proteins form structures, harbor disease-associated mutations, their activity correlate with disease process, and they can be targeted by biologics. One such study done on population scale showed that mutations in these noncanonical proteins are actively eliminated by evolution indicating that they are not tolerated, which in turn revels the true importance of the noncanonical proteins in the normal functioning of the human cell.
All these discoveries have fundamental consequences for curing diseases.
Sudhakaran quit his academic job to realize the full potential of his discoveries, so that difficult to treat diseases like cancer and neuropsychiatry disorders and difficult to diagnose rare diseases can be investigated using this knowledge of noncanonical proteins, their functions, and their disruptions.
NonExomics has opened up a new area of science with unlimited possibilities. The full potential of these discoveries are limiteless and unbound. But we are aware of the finiteness of time and money and hence we are actively looking for partnerships so that potential treatments can reach patients sooner.
Is the noncanonical protein expressed homeostatically or expressed under certain situation like under specific stressed condition?
The answer is both. Some are expressed homeostatically, some are expressed only in certain condition.
Is there any specificity concerning the spatial localization of noncanonical-protein? Are they concentrated in particular cell organelle?
No, there is no specificity in the spatial localization of the noncanonical proteins in side a cell. They are distributed in all cell organelles.
How do you predict the noncanonical protein’s function?
We predict the function of the noncanonical protein using proprietary machine learning algorithms that we developed using structural biology, structural genomics, sequence-based, biochemical and biophysical parameters.
Do you use GWAS information when you predict function?
We use not only GWAS but also Heritability and Polygenic risk scores to predict function.
Are the noncanonical proteins too small?
No the noncanonical proteins are not too small. Some are small but some big too.
Is the expression of noncanonical proteins too low?
No the expression of the noncanonical proteins are not too low to detect. They are low but not too low to detect.
Is our list of noncanonical proteins and disease markers final and finite?
No, our database of noncanonical proteins and disease indications is not final.