Firms claim combined expertise will plug the gaps left by standalone service providers.

Oxford, U.K.-based InhibOx and Indian firm Cosmic Discoveries are partnering to provide a full spectrum of integrated drug discovery services spanning computational, medicinal, and synthetic chemistry design. The partnership will exploit InhibOx expertise in the use of cloud computing for computer-aided drug discovery with Cosmic’s medicinal and synthetic chemistry capabilities. In addition to offering their combined expertise to customers worldwide, the firms will collaborate on the design of new drug molecules for Cosmic’s in-house programs. Cosmic Discoveries is the independent service arm of the Institute of Life Sciences in Hyderabad.

The partners aim to address the gaps in drug discovery services that are left by computational chemistry service organizations, which they suggest tend to leave customers to handle compound acquisition or synthesis, and medicinal chemistry providers, which often use standard, off-the-shelf molecular modeling systems and have relatively little specialist expertise.

Cosmic’s medicinal and synthetic chemistry insights will give InhibOx “the scope not only to design lead libraries but to deliver samples built from innovative, well-validated chemistries,” remarks Graham Richards, Ph.D., InhibOx founder and CEO.

Cosmic claims the partnership will provide it with design and build capabilities derived from a wider chemistry space. “The access this partnership gives us to InhibOx’ powerful and unique in silico design capabilities sets Cosmic Discoveries apart from standard chemistry suppliers,” claims Professor Javed Iqbal, Ph.D., Cosmic’s president and founder and director of the Institute of Life Sciences.  

InhibOx was founded in 2001 as an Oxford University spin-out, on the back of the Screensaver Lifesaver project, which harnessed the public’s personal computers to screen some 3.5 billion potential anticancer molecules. In December 2010 the firm launched its 110 million-compound Scopius-5 drug screening database. The database is organized in three parts. Scopius-CSpace comprises 8.5 million compounds available for immediate ordering and use in screening. Scopius-VSpace includes 102 million readily accessible compounds that can be created in simple synthetic processes from starting points in Scopius-Cspace. Scopius-FSpace comprises a library of 3-D fragment models, derived from available compounds in Scopius-Cspace.

Cosmic offers a full spectrum of services in the fields of medicinal chemistry, custom synthesis, natural products chemistry, and custom synthesis of labeled molecules. The firm claims its medicinal and synthetic chemistry expertise spans a wide range of therapeutic areas and disease relevant targets, and has already led to the development of multiple preclinical drug targets from early leads and hits.

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