Allergan taps NuMedii's digital discovery platform for psoriasis R&D

NuMedii has landed a deal that could validate its data-driven approach to drug discovery. Allergan ($AGN) is the company to give a shot to NuMedii, signing up to source a flow of potential treatments for psoriasis from the Stanford University spinout. 

Palo Alto, CA-based NuMedii set up shop in 2008 to commercialize Atul Butte's research into the use of software to spot novel drug-disease pairings in a sea of pharmacological, disease and clinical data. A $3.5 million funding round and collaboration with Aptalis Pharma followed, but, until now, none of the big beasts of pharma and biotech were willing to take a punt on the approach. That changed this week when Allergan entered into an alliance with NuMedii, the focus of which is the discovery of potential treatments for psoriasis that are eligible for the 505(b)(2) drug approval pathway.

The idea is to mine data to discover new uses for existing drugs, which can then follow the cheaper, less risky 505(b)(2) route to market. Such repurposing was a hot idea In the cash-constrained year in which NuMedii was founded but, despite multiple companies plugging away at the approach, is yet to make a big impact on R&D. After 7 years of plugging away at the approach and refining the technology, NuMedii CEO Gini Deshpande thinks opportunities may be starting to open up for the company.

"There is certainly more happening in this space," Deshpande told the San Francisco Business Times. "There is a need for identifying novel mechanisms or identifying new drug candidates. There is a need for that to be done in a more cost-efficient manner. Our technology enables that." NuMedii, which operates with a team of just their people, is still on the lookout for additional collaborations.

- read the release
- here's the San Francisco Business Times story