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 Lhasa’s Derek Nexus technology uses data from published and donated (unpublished) sources, including a collaboration agreement with the FDA, and knowledge of structure-toxicity relationships to alert scientists to the potential for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.

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