AstraZeneca to adopt Schrödinger's molecule-modeling platform for drug discovery

AstraZeneca
A new deal with AstraZeneca comes as Schrödinger aims to move into the clinic itself with wholly owned assets focused on at least three oncology targets. (AstraZeneca)

AstraZeneca has begun working with Schrödinger to incorporate its machine learning and molecule-modeling platform within its drug discovery work, soon after the computing company received a preclinical milestone payment through its collaboration with Sanofi.

Schrödinger’s platform aims to predict how strongly a potential drug will bind and affect a target protein with the goal of optimizing its chemical properties and reducing the number of compounds that need to be synthesized before settling on a lead candidate.

AstraZeneca’s researchers hope to use the programs to identify new therapeutics, while Schrödinger’s staff will work to integrate the platform within the drugmaker’s workflows and share best practices, according to the companies. Financial details were not disclosed.

Event

Join the world's top medtech executives virtually for the leading event in medtech — The Virtual MedTech Conference by AdvaMed

Expect the same high-quality education, world-class speakers and valuable business development in a virtual format. Experience more of the conference with on demand content and partnering, as well as livestreamed sessions.

“Our strategic goal is to transform drug design using innovative digital technologies,” AstraZeneca’s global chemistry R&D lead Garry Pairaudeau said in a statement. “In this collaboration with Schrödinger, we look forward to realizing the potential of predictive physics-based modeling and machine learning to help us deliver higher quality compounds more effectively.”

RELATED: Schrödinger raises more cash, amassing $110M for R&D drive

The deal comes as Schrödinger aims to move into the clinic itself with wholly owned assets focused on at least three oncology targets. This past summer, the company brought on translational science veterans from Merck and Eisai to help move its programs out of the discovery phase, after raising a total of $110 million to support its internal efforts and a dedicated staff.

Previously, New York-based Schrödinger has focused on bringing digital expertise to the biopharma R&D programs of several other companies and affiliates—including a multiyear, multitarget collaboration with Sanofi, which advanced its second drug discovery program this past July with Schrödinger providing molecular simulation from target analysis to lead identification. Earlier this year, the companies announced the advancement of a separate program in autoimmune disease into clinical trials.

RELATED: Schrödinger, WuXi launch virtual drug discovery JV

Schrödinger counts more than two dozen potential therapies in a range of disease areas currently being developed through its collaborations, including several clinical-stage assets and two FDA-approved cancer treatments.

Suggested Articles

ADC Therapeutics nearly went through the entire alphabet before trying, twice, to get off an IPO. Now, it’s looking to become a commercial biotech.

Emmecell aims to make corneal transplant surgery, which can take up to a year to heal from and fails up to 20% of the time, a relic of the past.

Vaccinex is developing a drug it hopes could be the first disease-modifying treatment for Huntington disease, but that program hit a snag in phase 2.