Building a molecule library to improve development of new medicines

Sygnature Discovery Ltd.
University of Oxford

A key part of the drug discovery process is the identification of bioactive molecules. Finding the correct active molecules in as short a time as possible can dramatically hasten the process of developing a new medicine. A contemporary method to prepare biologically relevant molecules for evaluation is array synthesis, a method of creating a large number of different molecules in a single process. Sygnature Discovery has developed a large compound collection for early-stage screening, however, the reactions used in array chemistry are limited to a few well understood transformations.

To broaden the compound collection available for research purposes, Matthew’s project aims to deliver methods for the array synthesis of 3D-rich building blocks featuring sulfonamides, sulfonimidamides, and sulfondiimidamides through photochemical transformations. These motifs are all in high demand in drug discovery and are historically difficult to access, which has limited their exploration.

Delivering an array method capable of delivering all three classes of molecule has not been achieved before. Successful application of this novel technique will deliver thousands of unique molecules – opening the way for the development of new molecules.


Matthew is skilled in synthetic organic chemistry, purification techniques and scientific communication. He attended the University of Durham to complete a Masters of Chemistry where he undertook an industrial placement at Sygnature Discovery. As an already experienced chemist, Matthew was offered the role as deputy of the internal high-throughput chemistry project at Sygnature Discovery upon graduation.