Computational Drug Discovery
This article was originally published in Start Up
Computational drug discovery companies promise to unite data from many of the disparate steps pharmaceutical companies go through these days, to enable more efficient lead identification, optimization, and testing.
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Plexus Vaccine Inc. is a genomics-driven vaccine development company with a platform based on computational drug discovery and immunological informatics. In the near term, it is using its expertise in B-cell-based vaccines to design novel vaccines against potential biowarfare agents Yersinia pestis (plague) and anthrax, but the company believes that its platform is expandable to broad potential uses.
Data mining start-up ReceptorBase Inc. has been validating its service model by prospecting GPCRs, a family of receptors known to hold more pharmaceutical riches than any other. Focusing on receptor protein function, the company applies empirical data from known small molecules to search out atomic binding sites. It then uses proprietary computational methods to predict compound designs that are mostly likely to hit the right target.
Libraria Inc. is using computational techniques to discover new small-molecule drugs that can be administered orally. Its proprietary technology enables the company and its partners to leverage known molecular structures, chemistry protocols, and bioactivity data to speed the chemistry phase of drug discovery by up to 50%.