Zeblok Computational Announces Partnership with Laufer Center and CEWIT - COVID-19 Drug Discovery

Zeblok Computational, The Laufer Center, CEWIT | July 20, 2020

Zeblok Computational is contributing to the efforts of two groups of researchers at The Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology, for COVID-19 drug discovery by providing Zeblok’s secure, scalable Supercomputing-as-a-Service platform, employing 128 GPUs from the CEWIT SMART GPU Cluster.

The Laufer Center simulations focus on 3 key proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to pinpoint more precisely which drug candidates have the best binding affinity to various protein targets:
  • The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (which copies the virus inside the cell, thought to be the target of Gilead’s Remdesivir, now in clinical trials)
  • The Protease (which chops up the virus proteins into the right pieces)
  • The spike protein (which is how the virus unlocks the door to enter the cell).

Spotlight

Meet Dr. Ritu Raman, a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer at MIT whose research is focused on transforming oral drug delivery.  Specifically, she is designing new smart materials that can be used to improve the way we deliver medicine to people.

Spotlight

Meet Dr. Ritu Raman, a Biomedical and Mechanical Engineer at MIT whose research is focused on transforming oral drug delivery.  Specifically, she is designing new smart materials that can be used to improve the way we deliver medicine to people.

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PHARMA TECH

Iktos Announces Deployment of their AI for Drug Design Software Makya™ by Chiesi Group

Iktos and Chiesi Group | December 03, 2021

ktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design today announced collaboration agreement in AI for new drug design with Chiesi Group, the international research-focused pharmaceutical and healthcare. Under the agreement, Iktos’s de novo generative design software Makya™ will be used by Chiesi scientists to facilitate rapid and cost-effective design of novel compounds and accelerate hit-to-lead/lead optimisation for undisclosed Chiesi’s drug discovery programmes. Iktos has released Makya™, a generative AI-driven de novo design software for Multi-Parametric Optimization available either as a SaaS platform or for implementation on customer premises or in the customer’s Virtual Private Cloud. Makya’s user-friendly interface enables it to be used by medicinal or computational chemists. Makya™ can also be operated as a Python package through a Jupyter notebook interface. Iktos’ AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps bring speed and efficiency to the drug discovery process, by automatically designing virtual novel molecules that have desired activities for treating a given disease. This tackles one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules which simultaneously satisfy multiple bioactivity and drug-like criteria for drug discovery and development. “Licensing Makya is another step Chiesi wanted to complete in digitalization of R&D and in particular in drug discovery. The possibility of applying cutting edge AI technology relying on our internal expertise and historical data to drug design is very appealing. We think this emerging technology will become soon part of the compound design toolkit for all medicinal chemists, to facilitate their work aimed at identifying the right molecule”. Maurizio Civelli, Head of Global Research and Pre-Clinical Development Area of Chiesi Group “We are proud to work with Chiesi Farmaceutici, one of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies in the world, and to have their scientists use our software in their early discovery programs”, said Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos. “It is our ultimate goal to put our technology in the hands of drug discovery scientists, who have deep knowledge and understanding of their discovery programs. By combining their drug discovery expertise with our algorithmic and data science know-how and experience derived from the many collaborations we have established to date, we believe that the promise of AI to dramatically improve drug discovery will have a better chance to be realized and impact therapeutic development”. About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, the design of molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis. About Chiesi Group Based in Parma, Italy, Chiesi is an international research-focused pharmaceutical and healthcare group with over 85 years’ experience, operating in 30 countries with more than 6,000 employees. To achieve its mission of improving people’s quality of life by acting responsibly towards society and the environment, the Group researches, develops and markets innovative therapeutic solutions in its three focus areas: AIR (products and services that promote respiration, from new-born to adult populations), RARE and CARE. The Group’s Research and Development centre is based in Parma and works alongside six other important research and development hubs in France, the U.S., Canada, China, the UK and Sweden to pursue its pre-clinical, clinical and regulatory programmes. In 2018 Chiesi changed its legal status to Benefit Corporation, according to the law in Italy, the USA and, more recently, in France, by incorporating common benefit objectives into its bylaws, to generate value for its business, for the society and the environment. Since 2019, Chiesi has been the world’s largest B Corp certified pharmaceutical group. B Corps are global leaders committed to using business as a force for good. Moreover, as a Benefit Corporation, Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. is required by law to report annually in a transparent way about its progress in achieving the common benefits objectives it has incorporated. The Group is committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2035.

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PHARMA TECH

Xeris Pharmaceuticals Enters Collaboration Agreement With Merck

Xeris | October 25, 2021

Xeris Biopharma Holdingsa biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing unique therapies for patient populations in endocrinology, neurology, and gastroenterology, today announced a collaboration agreement with Merck , with an option to license Xeris “We are quite excited to be working closely with Merck on this opportunity using our novel platform technology, XeriJect The XeriJect platform has broad applicability in improving the delivery of large molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies. This is another in a series of collaborations Xeris has undertaken with top 10 pharma companies evaluating the XeriJect technology.” Paul R. Edick, Chairman and CEO of Xeris Biopharma Mr. Edick continued, "These collaborations are important to validating our technology. We recognize they take time to complete and thus, they are not immediately critical to our near-term core business. However, should Merck exercise the negotiated license agreement, they could be very valuable to Xeris. It is the continued growth of Gvoke® and Keveyis®, the potential for the approval and launch of Recorlev, a pipeline supported by our novel technologies, our strong cash balance, and an expected $50 million in synergies from the Strongbridge acquisition that puts Xeris in a solid financial position.” About Xeris Biopharma Holdings Xeris (Nasdaq: XERS) is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing unique therapies for patient populations in endocrinology, neurology, and gastroenterology. Xeris has two commercially available products, Gvoke®, a ready-to-use liquid glucagon for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia and Keveyis®, the first and only FDA-approved therapy for primary periodic paralysis. Xeris also has a robust pipeline of development programs to extend the current marketed products into important new indications and uses and bring new products forward using its proprietary formulation technology platforms, XeriSol™ and XeriJect™, supporting long-term product development and commercial success. Forward-Looking Statements Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Xeris Biopharma Holdings, Inc. including statements regarding the market and therapeutic potential of its products and product candidates, expectations regarding clinical data or results from planned clinical trials, estimates and projections about the potential benefits of the Strongbridge Biopharma acquisition, estimates and expectations regarding potential collaborations, the timing or likelihood of regulatory approval and commercialization of its product candidates, the timing or likelihood of expansion into additional markets, the timing or likelihood of identifying potential development and commercialization partnerships, the potential utility of its formulation platforms and other statements containing the words “will,” “would,” “continue,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, failure to realize the expected benefits of the acquisition, failure to promptly and effectively integrate Strongbridge’s businesses, general economic and business conditions that affect the combined companies following the consummation of the acquisition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the combined businesses following the consummation of the transaction, changes in global, political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory forces, future exchange and interest rates, changes in tax laws, regulations, rates and policies, future business acquisitions or disposals and competitive developments. These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made in light of Xeris’ experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environment, future developments, and other factors it believes appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. The factors described in the context of such forward-looking statements in this communication could cause Xeris’ plans with respect to Strongbridge, Xeris’ plans with respect to XeriJect, Xeris’ actual results, performance or achievements, industry results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although it is believed that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct and persons reading this communication are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as at the date of this communication. Additional information about economic, competitive, governmental, technological, and other factors that may affect Strongbridge is set forth in Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in Strongbridge’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the SEC, the contents of which are not incorporated by reference into, nor do they form part of, this communication. Any forward-looking statements in this communication are based upon information available to Xeris, as of the date of this communication and, while believed to be true when made, may ultimately prove to be incorrect. Subject to any obligations under applicable law, Xeris does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, or to conform any forward-looking statement to actual results, future events, or to changes in expectations. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Xeris or any person acting on behalf of any of them are expressly qualified in their entirety by this paragraph.

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RESEARCH

Nanoform Releases Next-Generation AI-based Drug selection Tool

Nanoform | March 23, 2021

Nanoform innovative nanoparticle medicine enabling company next generation of its STARMAP® AI artificial intelligence platform nanoparticle bioavailability excipient microns nm CESS technology silico pharma drugs lifecycle managementNanoform, an innovative nanoparticle medicine enabling company, has today dispatched the next generation of its STARMAP® AI (artificial intelligence) platform, v2.0. The technology uses scanty information AI to expand trial results from its CESS® nanoparticle designing process with detailed master information, permitting dependable expectations to be made in regards to accomplices' likely success of nanoforming their medication atoms. CESS® is a nanoparticle platform technology which produces unadulterated homogeneous medication particles from arrangement in a without excipient process. By diminishing the molecule size e.g., from 10 microns to 50 nm, the particular surface territory can be expanded by as much as 1000-crease, subsequently improving disintegration rate, solvency, and bioavailability. Subsequently, Nanoform can help pharma accomplices progress atoms into advancement that in any case might not have been conceivable. It additionally opens up energizing opportunities for a wide scope of novel medication conveyance applications. STARMAP® is a computerized form of the CESS® technology that empowers in silico tries in enormous amounts, making quick forecasts of which atoms ought to be nanoformed. This is significant since there are more potential medication atoms than particles in the known universe. STARMAP® can be a useful asset for pharma accomplices to pick appropriate medication contender for additional improvement from their huge libraries. The benefits may incorporate quicker way to advertise and additional opportunities for widening and extending drug pipelines while at the same time expanding the likelihood of medication improvement success. The STARMAP® platform can have wide materialness in drug disclosure and advancement just as in lifecycle management for existing promoted drugs and 505b2-like item improvement methodologies. "AI algorithms developed for big data have so far struggled to live up to expectations in pharma because the data, especially for early assets (drug discovery, drug screening), that is available to pharma is typically insufficient for generating reliable predictions. We believe sparse-data AI will work much better - in practice, this means augmenting experimental results with detailed expert knowledge, which can be used to prevent the AI from predicting outcomes that are nonsensical based on prior understanding. There is a lot of untapped potential in sparse-data AI for the pharma industry and the field continues to undergo rapid development in both academia and the industry in general," said Prof. Jukka Corander, Head of AI at Nanoform. "By determining which drug candidates are ideal for our CESS® process, the next-gen STARMAP® platform can potentially create new opportunities for our pharma partners. These can include both revisiting drug candidates unnecessarily discarded by AIs trained on old particle engineering techniques, and rapidly picking winners among new drug candidates. Ultimately, the benefit of more advanced AI will be felt by patients as new therapies are accelerated to market," commented Christian Jones, Chief Commercial Officer at Nanoform

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