Upstream Biosciences has acquired Pacific Pharma Technologies, an early-stage biopharmaceutical company with an artificial intelligence-based drug discovery platform. This technology has already generated novel compounds that in laboratory studies demonstrate human and veterinary potential against major tropical parasitic diseases, according to the companies.
“This acquisition significantly broadens our strategic focus and provides Upstream with important new capabilities,” remarks Joel L. Bellenson, CEO of Upstream. “We believe the innovative technology platform pioneered by Pacific Pharma may have substantial commercial potential in a number of therapeutic areas, and it fits well with our existing core competencies in computational-based approaches to biomarker identification. Pacific Pharma has also generated novel compounds that have exhibited activity against targets relevant to cancer, the focus of our biomarker programs.”
Pacific Pharma’s technology platform takes existing compounds that have demonstrated efficacy against the target disease and uses artificial intelligence, computer simulation, and pattern-recognition techniques to identify key structural elements associated with their efficacy. Screening analyses and diversity generation chemistry are then applied to produce an array of potential drug candidates. The technology can also be used to identify novel applications for existing drugs.
In screening studies in vitro, Pacific Pharma’s lead candidates reportedly have demonstrated signs of efficacy against leishmaniasis and African sleeping sickness.
Upstream also intends to begin screening compounds against malaria and to test compounds from related classes as potential therapies for tuberculosis.