Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., The Ohio State University and Battelle to collaborate on a new $2.7M Defense Threat Reduction Agency project

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., The Ohio State University and Battelle to collaborate on a new $2.7M Defense Threat Reduction Agency project using Machine Learning and in vitro Methods To Assess Metabolism of Organophosphates Pesticides and Chemical Warfare Agents.

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Sept 10th2019)–The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has awarded a four-year $2.7 million grant to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals Inc (CPI) to collaborate with The Ohio State University and Battelle to develop and experimentally validate human metabolism machine learning models for Organophosphate (OP)pesticides and chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNAs). The intent of the research is to develop better technologies and therapeutic strategies to counteract these compounds.

OP pesticide accidental exposure and intentional self-poisoning kills hundreds of thousands of people every year and the threat of exposure to OP chemical weapons is a continued security concern globally. While there is a clear understanding of the primary targets of the OPs,  researchers do not have a complete picture of the metabolism of these compounds in humans and how inter-individual differences impact the response to the exposure and/or treatments.Using both computational and in vitroapproaches this team will attempt to predict the likely metabolites of OPs and generate data to validate the predictions. The approach is intended to lead to  improved models that can be used for predicting the metabolism of CWNAs and other OPs.

“This represents a terrific opportunity to apply our machine learning software and expertise to a real-world problem, with the potential to develop new treatments for OP exposure. We are excited to work with the fantastic groups at Ohio State (Dr. Craig McElroy) and Battelle to advance this important work. We are also grateful to DTRA for this award and being able to work on understanding the human metabolism of OPs and CWNAs using in vitroand in silico-based approaches as it will offer fundamental insights and potentially lead to other commercial products.”  said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI.

“The project or effort depicted was or is sponsored by the Department of the Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the federal government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.”

 

About The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

 Established in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is a global leader in pharmaceutical education, research, and clinical practice. As part of one of the most comprehensive health science campuses in the nation, the college is home to world-class faculty, dedicated researchers and top-notch students who are leading the way in patient care outcomes. The college’s professional program is currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Learn more at pharmacy.osu.edu.

 

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.  

 

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. We have developed software for data curation and machine learning called Assay Central (www.assaycentral.org).

For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,

Raleigh, NC 27606

sean@collaborationspharma.com

Tel 215-687-1320 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Awarded a New Grant to Develop MegaTox, Machine Learning Models for Toxicity Prediction 

Raleigh, North Carolina – The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded an SBIR grant in the amount of $224,548 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to provide and validate toxicity machine learning models using different algorithms for in vitroandin vivodatasets. 

 “We are honored to be awarded this grant as we have been working for several years to build up a series of validated machine learning models for different toxicity properties. We will curate and build a collection of tens of models which we have termed MegaTox, and deliver them to potential customers. This technology will also be used in our consulting projects with pharmaceutical and consumer product companies.” said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI.”

 “Considerable progress has been made in computational toxicology in a decade both in model development and availability such that MegaTox represents the next generation of larger scale models. Our efforts will focus on selected in vitroand in vivotesting to verify our predictions with the models and validate them further. MegaTox builds on our recent work generating machine learning models for the estrogen receptor which will be presented by Ms. Kimberley Zorn at the upcoming Society of Experimental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) meeting.” Ekins said. 

“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43ES031038. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. We apply our various software tools for data curation and machine learning as represented by Assay Central (www.assaycentral.org), MegaTrans, MegaPredict, MegaTox.

For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,

Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

Tel 215-687-1320 

 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. awarded two NIH grants to discover new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and to find new therapeutic uses for natural products

Raleigh, North Carolina –The National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded an Alzheimer’s Supplement grant while the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the NIH has awarded a Phase I SBIR to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to develop software in order to find new uses for natural products using a large collection of machine learning models.

 “These grants will demonstrate how we can apply a wide array of machine learning approaches to discovering small molecules for an array of targets for Alzheimer’s disease as well as finding additional uses for the many natural products that are already available and constantly being optimized in academic labs. These grants will serve to further validate our strategy for combining computational and in vitro approaches” said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI.”

 “We are very grateful to NIH-NIGMS and NIH- NCCIH for their support and providing this opportunity to potentially develop new collaborations in these research areas. Alzheimer’s Disease is widely known as the most common type of dementia, it is an irreversible neurodegenerative disease that is also the 6th leading cause of death in USA, affecting over 5.1 million adults over age 65, and costs over $150 billion per year. Clearly there is considerable data for various targets for this disease and to date there has been little in the way of success. We aim to try to change this. In addition, our new Phase I SBIR will enable us to develop software to provide predictions for a natural product (or any molecule) and identify targets for efficacy assessment as well as identify any potential liabilities. We will validate these predictions in vitro as well.To date there has been relatively limited prediction of natural products and drug-target interactions so this represents a valuable opportunity to develop machine learning models with different methods and apply them to published and collaborator’s molecules to identify new uses.” Ekins said. 

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. We apply our various software tools for data curation and machine learning as represented by Assay Central (www.assaycentral.org).

For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,

Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

Tel 215-687-1320 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals Inc. Has Articles Published in Nature Materials

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals Inc. has published two articles with coauthors in Nature Materials which describe the opportunities and challenges for machine learning in the pharmaceutical industry.

The first is entitled “Opportunities and challenges using artificial intelligence in ADME/Tox” with Barun Bhhatarai (Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research), W. Patrick Walters (Relay Therapeutics), Cornelis E.C.A. Hop (Genentech) and Guido Lanza (Numerate) and followed a recent panel in 2018 at an AI conference which discussed the same topic and led to substantial discussion and opinions.

The second “Exploiting Machine Learning for End-To-End Drug Discovery and Development” included Collaborations Pharmaceuticals authors Ana C. Puhl, Kimberley M. Zorn, Thomas R. Lane, Jennifer J. Klein and Sean Ekins. Our collaborators on this article included Daniel P. Russo (Rutgers) ,, Anthony J. Hickey (UNC) and Alex M. Clark (Molecular Materials Informatics). This perspective article describes how machine learning has now permeated virtually all aspects of the pharmaceutical process that it could be considered possible to perform substantial amounts of research using machine learning (or End to End).

These articles describe research by many groups which demonstrate the potential for machine learning to impact pharmaceutical R&D.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Partner with the University of Arizona to Develop Machine Learning Models for Human Drug Transporters

Raleigh, North Carolina – National Institute of General Medical Science (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health has awarded $210,712 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to initiate a project at the University of Arizona College of Medicine aimed at ultimately developing a suite of machine learning models for human uptake transporters called MegaTrans.

Being able to predict interactions with important human drug transporters would be of value to new drug design to avoid compounds that interact with them and cause undesirable side effects. We propose to test over 1000 drugs against several key transporters. We will then use these data to curate and validate machine learning models. This will enable us to develop a web-based software tool called MegaTrans that will allow scientists to input a molecule structure and predict the likelihood for interactions. This could allow the efficient prioritization of compounds to test.

“We have a long standing collaboration with Professor Stephen Wright’s laboratory in the Department of Physiology and have developed, validated and published numerous machine learning models with his team over the years. This project is the natural extension of this work as we attempt to generate larger datasets for many of the human relevant transporters for which there is far less consistent data in the public domain,” said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI.”

“Our research focuses on determining the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the kidney transports toxic compounds. Over the years we have narrowed down to focus on a number of clinically relevant human drug transporters. We are excited to branch out to new transporters for our group which will in turn lead to new models and insights into these important proteins.” said Dr. Wright.

“We are very grateful to NIH-NIGMS for their willingness to support this project with the goal of eventually developing software that includes models for a large number of relevant transporters. While we can curate and model much of the public data, there are many transporters with very little data that is public, so we intend to change that and generate models that will allow a better understanding of small molecule-transporter interactions,” Ekins said.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. We have developed software for data curation and machine learning called Assay Central (www.assaycentral.org).

For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

About the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, please visit http://www.medicine.arizona.edu.

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,

Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

Tel 215-687-1320 

 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals Awarded an NIH Diversity Supplement and Accepted into I-Corps 

Raleigh, North Carolina – National Institute of Neurological Diseases (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health has awarded $127,300 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) under the Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research Program. In addition, they were also accepted into the I-Corps program. Both of these awards relate to the SBIR “Enzyme Replacement Therapy For Infantile Onset Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses”. 

“Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recognizes the importance of having a diverse workforce and this diversity supplement provides further support for our recently awarded SBIR on Batten Disease. Additionally, the I-Corps™ at NIH program will provide us with training on how to translate technologies and help to develop our commercialization plan and strategies for this project” said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI.

 “We are very grateful to NIH-NINDS for their continued support on this project aiming to develop a treatment for a rare disease,” Ekins said. 

 

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. We have developed software for data curation and machine learning called Assay Central (www.assaycentral.org).

For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

 

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,

Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

Tel 215-687-1320

 

 

 

 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Rutgers University, The University of North Carolina and RTI International Announce a DOD Award to Develop Novel Inhaled Antibody Drug Conjugates for Tuberculosis

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Rutgers University, The University of North Carolina and RTI International Announce a DOD Award to Develop Novel Inhaled Antibody Drug Conjugates For Tuberculosis

Raleigh – The Department of Defense (DOD) recently awarded $213,372.70 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI), Rutgers University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International to develop a new approach to treating tuberculosis (TB) which is an infectious disease generally affecting the lungs in humans and is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that results in 1.4 million deaths per year.

“The approach we proposed to the DOD uses a method that has been used in cancer treatments in which a small molecule drug is attached to an antibody which specifically targets a cell of interest. The antibody-drug conjugate is then internalized, at which point it releases the drug. By using this approach, we hope to be able to specifically tackle granulomas that harbor the TB bacteria and leave surrounding cells well alone” said Dr. Sean Ekins, CEO of CPI.

“My lab will synthesize the antibody-drug conjugates using drugs that on their own would have great difficulty penetrating the granuloma and therefore have little or no efficacy against TB” said Dr. Joel S. Freundlich, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience and Medicine at Rutgers University–New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Freundlich has a chemical biology lab of eleven scientists that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to study infectious diseases, with a specific focus on TB.

“We will study the stability of the antibody-drug conjugates and test their efficacy in treating TB in animal models that mimic human TB. This project fits in with my research group’s long standing interest in developing new treatments for TB and our expertise” said Professor Miriam Braunstein. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UNC School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill.

“We also aim to deliver the drug and antibody combination by inhalation much like an asthma inhaler and this leverages our decades of expertise in aerosol drug delivery systems” said Dr. Anthony Hickey, Professor Emeritus, Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC Chapel Hill and Distinguished Fellow, Discovery Science and Technology, RTI International.

The project involves a unique collaboration between academic and small business groups to address a critical need, namely developing a potential treatment that could be delivered for a short period in order to eradicate TB.

About Rutgers University

Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state. Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 22 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, The University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit:

njms.rutgers.edu

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The UNC School of Medicine (SOM) is the state’s largest medical school graduating approximately 180 new physicians each year. It is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the US and is among the most well-funded for its research efforts. More than half of the school’s 1,700 faculty members served as principal investigators on active research awards in 2016. Two UNC SOM faculty members have earned Nobel Prize awards.

About the RTI International

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world.

For more information, visit www.rti.org.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

For further information, please contact :

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.

CEO and Founder,

840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510

Raleigh, NC 27606

collaborationspharma@gmail.com

Tel 215-687-1320

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to partner with Washington University in St. Louis on Batten Disease

Raleigh, North Carolina – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health has awarded $229,560 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to initiate a project at Washington University in St. Louis aimed at developing an enzyme replacement therapy to treat a devastating childhood neurological disorder known as infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (infantile Batten disease, or CLN1). The company will partner with noted Batten disease researcher Jonathan Cooper, PhD, a professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine.
This treatment approach, originally funded by Taylor’s Tale and NINDS, began in the lab of Sandra Hofmann, MD, PhD, at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. Using these funds, Dr. Hofmann performed extensive development of the protein and preclinical assessment. 
Moving forward, CPI will further develop the PPT1 enzyme that is critical for CLN1 patients, setting the stage for future clinical studies and the development of a potential treatment. CPI received Orphan Drug Designation from the Food and Drug Administration for this approach in 2017. 
“The concept of finding rare disease projects like this that were ready for translation originally prompted me to found CPI in 2016,” said Sean Ekins, PhD, chief executive officer of CPI. “It epitomizes our goal to see treatments for ultra-rare diseases that have been developed in academia continue across the valley of death with the support of small business funding from the NIH-NINDS. This funding also provides a catalyst to pursue critical studies that could indicate commercial viability of the enzyme replacement therapy. We look forward to working with Professor Jonathan Cooper and his team to further develop this potential treatment.” 
Taylor’s Tale, a 501(c)3 public charity based in Charlotte, North Carolina, funded Dr. Hofmann’s work beginning in 2007 and has continued to make an impact on the treatment landscape for CLN1. 
 “This significant step forward means a great deal for families living with the disease, and we are happy to see the continuation of work we supported from the beginning,” said Sharon King, president of Taylor’s Tale. 
The Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA), North America’s largest support and research association dedicated to Batten disease, has funded and advocated for treatments and family support services since its founding in 1987. 
“We are excited to see another company helping to develop treatments for Batten disease,” said Executive Director Margie Frazier, PhD. “We recognize the challenges during this process and the opportunities that would come with a treatment, just as we have seen with the recent approval of an enzyme replacement therapy, Brineura by BioMarin, for another form of the disease.” 
 “We are very grateful to NIH-NINDS for their willingness to fund a treatment for an ultra-rare disease and for the encouragement and support of Taylor’s Tale and BDSRA,” Ekins said. “Our vision is to collaborate with leading academic groups and foundations to develop treatments for rare diseases like this and, in the meantime, industrialize the process.”
About Batten Disease
The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) with a prevalence of approximately 1.5 to nine per million population. The infantile onset form termed CLN1 is characterized by progressive intellectual and motor deterioration, seizures, loss of vision and early death. Symptoms are caused by mutations in the CLN1 gene, which codes for the lysosomal enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1). CLN1 disease usually presents between six and 24 months of age. Each year, two to three children with this form are identified. 

About BDSRA
BDSRA is dedicated to funding research for treatments and cures, providing family support services, advancing education, raising awareness, and advocating for legislative action. Founded in 1987, by parents seeking to build a network for those diagnosed with Batten disease, BDSRA is now the largest support and research organization dedicated to Batten disease in North America. BDSRA believes that to effectively unravel the mysteries of Batten disease, the worlds of medical science, research, and families must work together toward a common goal: discover treatments and cures while assuring a better quality of life for those living with the disease. https://bdsra.org/
About Taylor’s Tale
Taylor’s Tale is a leader in the fight against infantile Batten disease and other rare diseases. Founded in honor of Charlotte’s Taylor King, Taylor’s Tale raises funds for research, drives public awareness and serves as an advocate for the rare disease community, which includes approximately 25 million Americans and 350 million people worldwide. The public charity has contributed to promising research that will help lead to treatments for Batten disease and other rare diseases. Taylor’s Tale also inspired North Carolina HB 823 (now Taylor’s Law), which in 2015 established the nation’s first Rare Disease Advisory Council at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and has sparked progress in other states across the nation. Nationally, Taylor’s Tale partners with organizations like Global Genes and the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Disease and has helped advance important federal legislation in the fight against rare disease. For more information: www.taylorstale.org.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/

For further information, please contact:

Contact information Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Judy Martin Finch, director of media relations
314-286-0105
martinju@wustl.edu

Contact information BDSRA
Batten Disease Support and Research Association
2780 Airport Drive, Suite 342
Columbus, Ohio 43219
Toll-Free: (800) 448-4570
Fax:  (866) 648-8718

Contact information About Taylor’s Tale

Laura King Edwards
Co-Founder and Vice President, Taylor’s Tale
laura@taylorstale.org
704-577-0160

Contact information CPI

Sean Ekins, Ph.D., D.Sc.
CEO and Founder,
Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
840 Main Campus Drive, Lab 3510,
Raleigh, NC 27606
collaborationspharma@gmail.com
Tel 215-687-1320

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces $1.5 Million Award to Develop Machine Learning Software for Drug Discovery

Centennial Campus-based Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) has been awarded a $1,499,769 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to develop new machine learning software that could make public bioactivity data more accessible to scientists so they can generate computational models to facilitate drug discovery and accelerate their research.

The growing importance of artificial intelligence is visible by the growth in companies and increasing deals over the past year between pharma and smaller companies using machine learning to assist in drug discovery. Additionally, the continuing steady growth of publicly available structure-activity data poses a considerable challenge as they are generally not readily accessible for machine learning software.

“Collaborations Pharmaceuticals has developed a prototype of Assay Central software to enable data curation and machine learning model building and sharing. We have used this tool with a wide variety of structure activity data from sources both public and private for rare or neglected disease targets with many collaborators and for internal projects. We are excited by this award as it will allow us to perform a thorough evaluation and selection of additional machine learning algorithms (such as Deep Learning and Support Vector Machines) and different molecular descriptors. It will also fund development of our software to enable molecule selection, automated design or optimization,”said Dr. Sean Ekins, CPI CEO and Founder.

“We are so grateful to be able to partner with Collaborations Pharmaceuticals. This work is tremendously meaningful to us in our search for rare disease treatments,” said Audrey Davidow Lapidus, president, Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation.

“The utility of having such a tool as Assay Central readily available will empower scientists to leverage their data to help with drug discovery tasks. It can also be utilized in consumer product areas for toxicology assessment as well as for human and animal health applications. We are very grateful to NIGMS for supporting this work which will enable us to increase the number of collaborations we can support for neglected and rare diseases. It will also allow us to create new positions in our company,” said Dr. Ekins.

CPI has been an NC State University Partner since locating on Centennial Campus in early 2017.  The company actively collaborates with NC State researchers and students in areas including chemistry, toxicology and food safety.

About the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation

The mission of the Pitt Hopkins Research Foundation (PHRF) is to support research dedicated to finding a treatment, and an eventual cure for Pitt Hopkins Syndrome and other similar disorders. The PHRF is also dedicated to supporting the Pitt Hopkins community with resource recommendations, parental support and the latest medical information. For more information, visit https://pitthopkins.org/.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and neglected diseases. CPI partners with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. CPI has experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/.

https://news.centennial.ncsu.edu/collaborations-pharmaceuticals-inc-announces-award-to-develop-new-machine-learning-software-for-drug-discovery/

 

New Funding Award To Support Research To Fight Tuberculosis

 

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School announce second NIH award to develop treatments for tuberculosis.

FUQUAY-VARINA, NC -- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently awarded $225,000 to Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPI) to initiate a second partnership – “Structure-guided optimization of an in vivo active small molecule antitubercular targeting KasA” - with Rutgers University aimed at developing a new series of compounds for tuberculosis (TB), which is an infectious disease generally affecting the lungs in humans and is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb).

Globally, there are 10.4 million new TB cases and 1.4 million deaths per annum. Despite the availability of effective treatments for the disease, the combined impacts of drug resistance and morbidity of patients co-infected with HIV/AIDS have stimulated research on new quicker acting treatments efficacious against drug-resistant infections that are less toxic when used with anti-retroviral regimens for HIV/AIDS.

“This new project resulted from a previously NIH funded U19 grant that identified the target for a compound published by GlaxoSmithKline,” said Dr. Joel S. Freundlich, Associate Professor of pharmacology, physiology & neuroscience and medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). “We then pursued a structure-based design strategy to come up with new molecules in my laboratory that have significant translational potential.”

Dr. Freundlich has a chemical biology lab of eleven scientists that utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to study infectious diseases, with a specific focus on tuberculosis. The project has received critical scientific contributions from faculty researchers with NJMS, including Dr. David Alland, Associate Dean, Department of Medicine, and Dr. Matthew Neiditch, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics, who identified the target and co-crystallized various molecules bound to the protein, respectively. 

“Our goal is to optimize a novel candidate series to ensure that a generated lead compound is poised for drug combination testing in preclinical mouse models,” said Dr. Ekins, CEO of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “My company is developing a pipeline of treatments for neglected and rare diseases through collaborations with academic laboratories. This has enabled us to develop compounds for Ebola, Chagas disease, HIV and TB.”

“This work is a clear example of the productivity of our U19 project team, which can in turn attract outside companies to collaborate with us to develop novel antibacterials,” said Dr. David Perlin, Executive Director, Professor at the NJMS Public Health Research Institute Center and principal investigator, NIH/NIAID Center of Excellence in Translational Research.

“We are very grateful to NIAID for this additional funding to develop new antibacterials” said Dr. Ekins.

About Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state.  Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. In addition to providing the MD degree, the school offers MD/PhD, MD/MPH and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 20 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” Home to the nation’s oldest student-run clinic, New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit: njms.rutgers.edu.

About Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc. performs research and development on innovative therapeutics for multiple rare and infectious diseases. We partner with academics or companies to identify and translate early preclinical to clinical stage assets. We have considerable experience of preclinical and computational approaches to drug discovery and toxicity prediction. For more information, please visit http://www.collaborationspharma.com/