Zealand, BioSolveIT pool resources to develop peptide design tool

Zealand CEO Britt Meelby Jensen

Zealand Pharma has unveiled a collaboration with BioSolveIT. The partnership, which is drawing on Zealand and BioSolveIT's respective strengths in peptides and informatics, has already delivered an initial version of PepSee, a software tool that combines visual computational modeling with modality prediction capabilities.

Copenhagen, Denmark-based Zealand began working with BioSolveIT to improve on what it sees as a "limited" set of software support options for peptide researchers. Having picked up partnerships with Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi ($SNY) on the strength of its peptide R&D skills, Zealand is well placed to recognize such a gap in the market. And, by pairing its database of peptides and their properties to BioSolveIT's medicinal and computational chemistry capabilities, Zealand believes it is also positioned to address the opportunity.

This pairing has resulted in PepSee, a software tool the allies think can accelerate and advance peptide R&D by equipping researchers with modeling, design and prediction capabilities.

"The first version of PepSee has already demonstrated its potential to support innovation and enhance our efficiency in the design of novel peptide therapeutics," Zealand CEO Britt Meelby Jensen said in a statement. "More importantly, as more features are added, we will push further the boundaries of peptide discovery and development."

Work on the second iteration of PepSee is now underway with a view to having the software ready for use in 18 months. Having contributed resources to the creation of PepSee, Zealand is positioned to shape its development and will have a free user license. The arrangement means BioSolveIT is the owner of PepSee, giving it the license to build a business around the software. 

BioSolveIT has engaged in similar research collaborations in the past. SeeSAR, BioSolveIT's visual compound prioritization tool, was created through a collaboration with Bayer and the University of Hamburg. During the development stage, BioSolveIT's collaborators tested prototypes, leading to the refinement of the product ahead of its commercial introduction.

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