FREMONT, Calif.—Last week at the International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, HI, technology-based pharma company Verseon presented two lead candidates from its new class of precision oral anticoagulants (PROACs). The new drug candidates, products of Verseon’s computationally driven drug discovery platform, could become the first anticoagulants suitable for long-term co-administration with antiplatelet drugs for patients with coronary artery disease.
Verseon’s PROACs have shown excellent efficacy in multiple preclinical studies without disruption of platelet function. This unique feature could explain the low bleeding of the PROACs observed in preclinical testing, making PROACs excellent candidates for use in long-term combination anticoagulant-antiplatelet therapy.
Millions of patients worldwide could benefit from safe, long-term therapy combining an oral anticoagulant with one or more antiplatelet drugs to prevent stroke or heart attack. With current anticoagulants, such combination treatment is generally limited to 12 months because of an increased risk of major bleeding. Verseon’s PROACs have demonstrated low bleeding and sparing of platelet function in preclinical testing, making them promising candidates for this large group of patients.
Verseon’s computational platform is built on advanced physics-based modeling, novel optimization algorithms and a proprietary chemistry knowledge base. These computational engines are integrated into highly efficient, purpose-built chemistry and biology laboratory workflows. This unique approach distinguishes Verseon from traditional modes of pharmaceutical development and allows the company to identify novel small molecules that bind to the disease-causing target protein. In this way, the company synthesizes only the most promising compounds for laboratory evaluation and clinical trials.
Verseon says that their drug development platform allows the company to systematically generate multiple chemically distinct drug candidates for each disease area. As a result, the company is currently conducting a phase 1 trial on their lead PROAC, VE-1902. VE-1902 was well-tolerated in regulatory toxicity studies and demonstrated low renal clearance, a desirable property for patients with impaired kidney function. Verseon also expects to advance a second PROAC, VE-2851, into clinical trials.
“Our drug discovery process is a confluence of physics, chemistry, biology, and high-performance computing that is needed to efficiently design new compounds out of reach by conventional methods,” noted Adityo Prakash, CEO of Verseon. “The PROACs are excellent examples of how our approach brings multiple therapeutic candidates forward for addressing large, unmet medical needs.”