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12:00 AM
Jul 09, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

SeaChange: Computing targets

SeaChange's computational method predicts drug compound-target interactions

SeaChange Pharmaceuticals Inc. is developing a computational method called similarity ensemble approach to predict small molecule-target interactions that could speed preclinical toxicology testing and help guide the design of novel compounds. The company has shown the technique can detect off-target interactions for existing drugs, and now is hoping to use it to identify repurposing opportunities and to eventually fill its own pipeline with novel molecules.

Similarity ensemble approach (SEA) predicts whether a compound will bind a target by comparing the similarity of the compound's chemical groups to other known ligands of the target. The statistical comparison is based on the premise that drugs of similar structure will bind similar targets.

The company spun out of the University of California, San Francisco, in March 2009 to commercialize the method, which was developed in the lab of Brian Shoichet, a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences UCSF Campus. The UCSF group first published details of the approach in Nature Biotechnologyin 2007.

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