Google-like code aids drug development

A new generation of companies with more powerful computer technology is applying itself to the business of drug development. And among them is Numerate of San Bruno, CA.

Numerate uses Google-like code to develop drugs, says the San Francisco Business Times. The paper profiles several Bay Area companies that are using algorithms and cloud computing to sort through compounds "faster than ever before to design, create or redirect compounds, then decide whether to test the drugs in humans."

Numerate was recently awarded a patent for methods of using biological assay data to develop predictive models. The models, according to the company, boast accuracy comparable to that of lab testing.

Its approach involves a statistics-based method of discerning what compounds a company might pursue given the discovery and development data it already has. That strategy, says Numerate, contrasts with more traditional assumption-based methods that attempt to "simulate nature."

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- here's the patent release