TCS Bags Drug Discovery Deal from Italian Bio-Tech Firm
News Aug 05, 2005
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has entered into an agreement with Congenia in which the Life Sciences R&D Division of TCS will work on "P66" - a target protein identified by Congenia as a key protein involved in several age-related diseases - and will develop optimized drug leads based on this.
TCS will be using modules of its own product "Bio-Suite" to work on the target protein. It will screen a "virtual fragment library" of tens of thousands of potential lead molecules to predict which of these might bind themselves to the target protein and thereby inhibit its function.
TCS will also produce a first-cut analysis of the ADMET profile of the lead molecules.
"The Life Science sector has been identified as one of TCS' growth engines for the future. We have invested in developing competencies and research collaborations over the last few years and it is good to see that our investments are yielding significant results," said Mr. S. Ramadorai, CEO and MD of TCS.
Dr. M. Vidyasagar, Executive Vice President and head of TCS' Advanced Technology Centre, Hyderabad, said: "This is a historic occasion for TCS and the first contract where the deliverable is not software code, but a set of molecules. We are proud to partner with the Genextra group, a bio-tech pioneer in Italy."
"TCS is committed to putting in place a complete suite of offerings in the life sciences segment, spanning genomics and proteomics, database integration, drug discovery, and preventive healthcare," Dr. Vidyasagar added.
Mr. Paolo Fundaro, CEO of Congenia said: "TCS' competencies in bio-chemistry and computation techniques offer a unique value proposition. Using these techniques, we expect to obtain good lead candidates for a drug for pre-clinical trials and save time in R&D."
"In our discussions with TCS, we found great flexibility during the entire program design and real understanding of our needs," Mr. Fundaro added.
Dr. Saverio Minucci, Scientific Director of Congenia said: "We found TCS to be very innovative when we started talking to them. We considered other alternatives but we liked the TCS team and liked whom we met right from the beginning."
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.