Upstream Biosciences Launches Chemoinformatics Program to Extend its Drug Discovery Capabilities
News Nov 19, 2007
Upstream Biosciences Inc. has announced that it is establishing a Chemoinformatics Program to extend its drug discovery efforts into additional disease areas. Upstream’s Chemoinformatics Program combines artificial intelligence, advanced computational methods and chemical diversity techniques that will be applied to the company's proprietary drug scaffolds and compound library.
This effort will initially build on Upstream's recently acquired compounds that in laboratory studies demonstrate both human and veterinary potential against major tropical parasitic diseases, including trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis.
Separately, Upstream also announced that it has filed a provisional United States patent on methods for incorporating data on genetic variations it will generate in its biomarker discovery efforts as well as those in the public domain into the Chemoinformatics program.
Upstream obtained exclusive worldwide rights to its existing library of novel compounds and potential drug scaffolds through the company’s acquisition of Pacific Pharma Technologies.
Upstream intends to combine its computational approaches with advanced chemistries to produce novel compounds with enhanced efficacy and reduced toxicity for conditions such as infectious diseases and cancer. The proprietary scaffolds acquired by Upstream will also be used to develop additional compound libraries.
Upstream also intends to use relevant genetic variations it will identify in its biomarker discovery program as well as genetic variations in the public domain as inputs into the Chemoinformatics Program. These genetic variations may include differences that impact drug metabolism, treatment efficacy or susceptibility to drug toxicity or to the development of drug resistance. In some cases researchers may “design around” a variation to minimize its impact, or conversely, data on the variation could be used by researchers to help achieve specific drug attributes.
"Our Chemoinformatics Program will focus on optimizing our proprietary compound library and enhancing our ability to use it to discover additional novel drugs," said Joel L. Bellenson, Chief Executive Officer of Upstream.
"The innovative drug discovery approach we are developing complements the core competencies we are applying in our biomarker discovery programs and potentially positions us to expand into additional therapeutic areas. The provisional patent filing we announced today brings together these two programs, covering methods for applying data on genetic variations that we will generate in the biomarker program to our computational drug discovery activities,” Mr. Bellenson added.
Mr. Bellenson and Upstream President Dexster Smith bring considerable expertise to these computational programs, having pioneered some of the first computer-based systems for managing combinatorial chemistry and pathogen screening data as co-founders of Pangea Systems/Doubletwist, which made history in 1999 by providing computational tools for annotating the first draft of the human genome.
In a new study published in Cell Stem Cell, a team of researchers have demonstrated, using fat cells derived from human stem cells, that individual genetic variation can be used to predict whether the TZD rosiglitazone will produce the unwanted side effect of increasing cholesterol levels in certain individuals.READ MORE