Strand, Elan collaborate

Strand Life Sciences, an in silico technologies company, has entered into a research collaboration with Elan Pharmaceuticals with the aim of supporting Elan’s drug discovery efforts. Elan Pharmaceuticals is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elan Corp., a Dublin, Ireland-based neuroscience-oriented biotechnology company that is focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing therapies in the areas of neurology, autoimmune diseases and severe pain.

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BANGALORE, India—Strand Life Sciences, an in silico technologies company, has entered into a research collaboration with Elan Pharmaceuticals with the aim of supporting Elan's drug discovery efforts. Elan Pharmaceuticals is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elan Corp., a Dublin, Ireland-based neuroscience-oriented biotechnology company that is focused on discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing therapies in the areas of neurology, autoimmune diseases and severe pain.
 
This collaboration allows Elan to access Strand's in silico technology portfolio, including predictive modeling for efficacy and ADME/Tox, custom library design, QSAR and pharmacophore modeling, structure-based drug design, data and visual mining, and consulting experience.
 
Strand's technology along with its consulting experience has allowed them to quickly develop and deploy tailored solutions that enable better decision making in drug discovery and other pharmaceutical efforts, according to Dr. Kas Subramanian, chief scientific officer for Strand Life Sciences. "Strand has developed outstanding technologies and skills in data analysis and predictive modeling for drug discovery and development," he says. "Our data mining platform is widely used in gene expression, preclinical, chemistry and healthcare at various pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as research institutions."
 
Dale Schenk, Elan's chief scientific officer, praises Strand's portfolio as "leading edge" and says he is confident the technology and expertise of the Indian company will help advance his own company's drug discovery efforts. And this is the kind of collaboration Elan may need to stay sharp in the pharmaceutical market, according to Schenk and G. Kelly Martin, Elan's president and chief executive officer—particularly since Elan works in areas where there often aren't a lot of effective therapies yet on the market.
"In our drug delivery and manufacturing business, our emphasis is on innovation—finding new and efficient ways to deliver therapies to more patients," Martin says. "The fundamental assumption underlying our neurodegenerative disease work is to develop novel, disease-modifying therapies in areas where there is significant unmet medical need, like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis."
 
Such work is not always 100 percent successful, he notes, citing setbacks to the company's promising drug Tysabri, a therapy for multiple sclerosis, which was tied to a number of adverse patient events earlier this year. Strand's in silico technologies could be one element helping to reduce the risk of similar setbacks in the future.


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