Techneins™ – Non-natural polymers as synthetic affinity reagents and novel therapeutics


A rapid discovery platform for non-natural polymers that expands our access to 3-dimensional structural diversity with the synthetic accessibility and optimizability of small molecules.


The development of potent and selective affinity reagents has traditionally been restricted to naturally occurring types of molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies, peptides from phage-display libraries, and nucleic acids / aptamers. However, natural biological molecules have limitations in stability, pharmacokinetic (PK) properties, structural and chemical diversity; and may take several months to years to develop as diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

The solution

SRI Biosciences has developed a molecular discovery platform that enables the synthesis and screening of sequence-defined non-natural polymers, or “Techneins”, to create potent and selective affinity reagents that can be used as either therapeutics or diagnostic reagents.

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How it works

Development of application-specific techneins is enabled by a proprietary chemical library design and screening methodology. Unique custom monomer units have been designed to impart stability, strong binding interactions, and three-dimensional folding properties into relatively small (4,000 – 7,000 Da) sequence-defined polymers. Large libraries of these polymers (>107 molecules per library) can be screened using our Fiber optic Array Screening Technology (FAST) at a rate of five million compounds per minute. This rapid and automated screening technology enables the development of non-natural synthetic affinity reagents with potent binding affinities, appropriate selectivity, and enhanced stabilities and pharmacokinetic (PK) properties over natural molecules.


Technein non-natural synthetic affinity reagents have been developed against a number of different types of molecular targets including proteins, peptides, and a small molecule. In all cases, techneins were discovered from the initial screening with nano- to picomolar binding affinities. Other specific benefits of Techneins include:

  • High stability – have demonstrated prolonged stability and activity in the presence of plasma or following treatment with degradation enzymes (proteinase K) and heat (>90°C for 24 hours).
  • Scalable production methods – can be easily produced on a milligram to gram scale using modified peptide synthesis protocols on an automated system.
  • Optimizable – standardized approaches to optimize affinity, selectivity & stability and PK properties.
  • Customizable functionalization – synthetic molecules that can easily be modified or functionalized using synthetic methods for surface attachment, reporter attachment, fluorophore incorporation or multimerization.

Partner with us

SRI Biosciences partners with commercial companies through research collaborations that lead to option and license agreements for further commercialization. We are looking for commercial partners who (1) are interested in using Techneins as affinity reagents for diagnostic applications; (2) would like to co-develop Techneins as therapeutic inhibitors of a specific biological target; or (3) are interested in exploring new applications for high-stability, synthetic affinity reagents for capturing or purifying target molecules from complex mixtures.

Contact to explore partnership opportunities.

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Techneins™: Presented by Peter Madrid at BIO 2020

In this presentation from the BIO Digital International Convention 2020, SRI Biosciences’ Vice President of Applied Research, Peter Madrid, presents a high-level overview of the Techneins rapid discovery and high throughput screening platform for non-natural polymers.

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