You might know that proteins are one of the essential parts of life and it is because of the millions of protein particles inside our body that we function the way we are right now. It is also known that proteins can be made to react in certain ways so as to treat some diseases as well and this is how vaccines are made.
CEO and co-founder Ravit Netzer said, “Protein development process is very complex, and even in large companies, it’s largely trial and error,” and added, “Scientists engineer them by some flavor of random mutagenesis. But now that we know the structures of these proteins, it’s clear that randomly changing things is not really an option.” He explained with an example, “A small protein that’s a chain of 100 amino acids, with 20 options for each of those 100 positions, has so many possibilities to test that you could do so until the sun burned out and still not exhaust them. And indeed, many such attempts to randomly hit on an improvement either take a long time to get results or simply fail and cost millions”
“Scala has combined protein structure prediction with clinical data and observations of naturally occurring proteins to produce a system that can home in on changes that accomplish a given outcome. Improving stability, amplifying effect, easing manufacture, there are plenty of ways that almost-there proteins can graduate to useful and effective levels”. Also, there is an example of a lab working on protein that could work as malaria vaccine but the problem is that it would not survive the temperature changes during transportation. CTO and co-founder Adi Goldenzweig says, “They knew they had a problem with thermal stability. They gave one input and got three outputs, went with the best one, and it’s now in clinical trials,” and also mentioned that “Ideally we would provide one option and be 100% confident, but we’re not there yet. But people often go through tens of thousands.”
Co-founder Netzer said, “As a seed company we can’t do everything, so we’re focusing on working with companies, showing them our tech. The way to work with them is not to complicate things,”