Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Feb 5, 2013

Bringing Toxicity Prediction to Chemists’ Desktops

  • Optibrium and Lhasa entered into a technology collaboration agreement that will integrate Lhasa’s Derek Nexus™ platform for knowledge-based prediction of compound toxicity as an optional plug-in module for Optibrium’s StarDrop software. The Optibrium product guides the design and selection of high-quality compounds in drug discovery.

    The combination of these technologies is expected to enable chemists to intuitively balance the reduction of toxicity risk with the other requirements for a successful, safe, and efficacious drug in hit-to-lead and lead optimization, according to officials at both firms. A reporting feature has been included to facilitate collaboration between chemists and expert toxicologists to interpret and understand the relevance of a potential liability and to enable early decision-making regarding the prioritization of chemistries early in the drug discovery process.

    Toxicity of drug candidates is a major cause of expensive, late-stage failure in preclinical and clinical development. Lhasa’s Derek Nexus technology uses data from published and donated (unpublished) sources, including a collaboration agreement with the FDA, and knowledge of structure-toxicity relationships to alert scientists to the potential for compounds to cause toxicity.

    Optibrium’s StarDrop software platform intuitively guides decisions on the design and selection of compounds with a high chance of success against a drug discovery project’s objectives. StarDrop’s probabilistic scoring approach to multiparameter optimization allows predicted and experimental data to be given appropriate weights when balancing the many requirements for a high-quality lead or candidate compound, explained a StarDrop spokesperson. These include potency against the therapeutic target(s), selectivity against off-targets, and appropriate absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, and toxicity (ADMET) properties.

    Market firm Global Industry Analyst has predicted that the Global ADME-toxicology testing market will exceed $10 billion by 2017.

Related content

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

More »