Optibrium is aiming to develop products with improved metabolism prediction capabilities through a new collaborative parternship with the non-profit organisation and educational charity, Lhasa Limited.
The development of methods to predict metabolism is an important avenue of research and finds application in the development of drugs, cosmetics, nutritional supplements and agrochemicals. It is necessary to understand a compound’s pharmacokinetics and ensure that it has sufficient exposure at a target to exert its therapeutic effect.
This subject is of particular interest to drug developers as the formation of toxic metabolites contribute to the high attrition rates experienced in the development of new chemical entities, the imposition of black-box warnings or even the withdrawal of approved pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the ability to identify potential metabolite issues early is of crucial importance to improving the efficiency and safety of the drug discovery process.
Dr Matt Segall, CEO at Optibrium said: ‘This R&D collaboration with Lhasa builds on a long-standing relationship and is part of our continued investment in the development of novel technologies to improve efficiency in drug discovery. We welcome Mario to the team and look forward to extending the metabolism modelling capabilities within our combined product portfolio for the mutual benefit of Lhasa members and StarDrop users.’
Dr Mario Öeren has been appointed as senior scientist to lead the study and work with a team of scientists from both Lhasa and Optibrium. As a theoretical chemist who has specialised into computational chemistry, Mario has a PhD in Natural Sciences from Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia where he has since worked as a researcher and lecturer. Mario will be based at Optibrium’s headquarters in Cambridge, UK.
Dr Chris Barber, Director of Science at Lhasa added: ‘We are excited by the complementary approaches that Lhasa and Optibrium have applied in the past with Lhasa capitalising on data donated by its member organisations and Optibrium applying theoretical approaches. Both approaches have their advantages but combining and applying them across all stages of development should allow us to provide real benefit to the end user.’
Lhasa specialises in the development of transparent in silico models together with supporting databases in the fields of toxicology, metabolism, degradation and organic synthesis. The company is considered a pioneer in the production of knowledge-based systems and Meteor Nexus, the expert knowledge-based system for the prediction of metabolism, is used extensively within the pharmaceutical and related industries.