Cloud Pharmaceuticals, Therametrics hook up for CNS drug discovery drive

Cloud Pharmaceuticals and Therametrics have hooked up to apply their computing and software capabilities to a central nervous system (CNS) R&D program. The plan is to use Cloud's computing platform to design drugs to inhibit targets identified by Therametrics' software.

On paper, the capabilities the companies bring to the relationship are a good fit. Therametrics has responsibility for the first step of the process. The Swiss drug discovery shop will use its DDR 2.0 repurposing and repositioning software to find novel targets. DDR 2.0 mines published research and uses the information to build a graph of the available knowledge. By analyzing this resource, Therametrics claims it can predict the likelihood of a compound having a particular mode of action. The forecasts are based on the number of indirect paths linking a drug and disease on the graph.

Once broadly interesting areas of investigation have been identified, Therametrics will hand them over to Cloud for the next step. Cloud's business is based around its Quantum Molecular Design process, which entails the use of a computing platform to predict the binding affinities of compounds in a library and in silico design work to refine their safety and efficacy. The approach has echoes of other attempts to apply computing to drug discovery, none of which have revolutionized the process, but Cloud thinks it has what it takes to make the orphan disease CNS project a success.

"We design drug candidates that are better suited for development from the outset," Cloud CEO Ed Addison said in a statement. "Preclinical development steps can then be applied to a much more qualified list of candidates, enabling faster progress at lower cost and a higher success rate, even with elusive targets." Addison and his colleagues will handle these early development steps for any compounds that emerge from the collaboration, after which Therametrics' CRO unit will step in to run clinical research programs.

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