Drug discovery with fewer downstream problems

Cresset and Inocardia to develop in-silico cardiac safety assay for drug candidate screening

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CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Cardiac complications and side effects have traditionally been one of the major areas that cause otherwise promising therapeutic candidates to fail late in the drug development process, so anticipating and heading off this problem at the discovery and preclinical stages is crucial.
Cresset Discovery Services, a provider of contract research services for early-phase discovery, and Inocardia, a provider of cardiac safety testing models, have announced a one-year collaboration to develop improved computational methods for cardiac safety assessment. This collaboration also includes the University of Coventry and UCB, and is supported by EIT Digital.
The collaboration builds on a successful 2019 proof-of-concept project. In this new phase Cresset Discovery Services and its project partners will utilise ligand-based similarity methods in Forge, docking and Electrostatic Complementarity in Flare and chemical space analysis to model key biological modes of action. The models will be used to predict biological response.
“This exciting collaboration will produce valuable and useful work,” said Dr. Robert Scoffin, Cresset’s CEO. “In-silico predictions are increasingly being used alongside time-consuming or expensive wet biological assays to create a fuller picture of the pharmacological landscape.”
“Drug-induced cardiac contractility issues are often identified too late in R&D campaigns,” added Dr. Jeremy Billson, CEO at Inocardia. “Our novel assays improve early detection of cardiac safety issues and we are looking forward to extending this further using computational methods to help pharmacologists avoid expensive downstream problems.”

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