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Aug 23, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Numerate: Best of both worlds

Numerate believes its in silico drug design produces less risky small molecules

Most in silico drug design technologies can generate compounds that either structurally fit a target or have desired activities. Numerate Inc.'s technology is able to do both, resulting in a greater variety of lead candidates that can provide its biotech and pharma clients a hedge against drug development risks like toxicity, clinical failures and IP crowding.

According to co-founder and CEO Guido Lanza, in silico design technologies come in two flavors: structure-based and data-driven.

Data-driven algorithms use compound and target data from literature and other sources to design small molecules with desired chemical properties against a particular target. But these technologies are dependent on the scaffolds from the literature, which limits their usefulness, according to Lanza.

"All you are doing is confirming with data from published studies what the chemist already knows, which is that the scaffold is really good," he said.

Structure-based design simulates the active site to generate compounds that might fit. These technologies can predict additional chemical scaffolds that could work against a particular target, a process called "scaffold hopping." But...

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