Informatics upgrade aids enzyme drug development
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has upgraded its Pathway Studio installation with Ariadne's ChemEffect drug-centric module, helping research into enhancing the therapeutic utility of the enzyme drug L-Asparaginase (L-ASP).
Dr Phil Lorenzi, supervisor of laboratory and research, Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, who is heading research efforts for this project noted: 'L-ASP is a standard component of chemotherapy regimens for leukemia and is also being tested against solid tumours, but efficacy is observed in only a subset of patients. We're looking for protein and small molecule biomarkers that predict L-ASP response and for small molecules that exhibit synergistic anticancer activity with L-ASP.'
Dr John Weinstein, chair of the department and principal investigator of the project, adds: 'Together with data from siRNA screening and metabolomic profiling experiments, Pathway Studio and ChemEffect will facilitate a systems-wide approach to prioritising candidate biomarkers and potentially synergistic drug combinations. If successful, an advantage of trying to re-position approved drugs, rather than bring a new one to the table, is that we don't have to wait 14 years or have a billion dollars in spare change to make it happen.'
'Our laboratory employs a systems pharmacology approach to identifying novel mechanisms of action, biomarkers that predict drug effect, and synergistic combination therapies,' states Lorenzi. 'Pathway Studio helps us integrate those strategies.'