The collaborative effort will see AZ and Tripos working together to develop Tripos’ ligand-based de novo drug discovery software product, Muse.
Designed to accelerate the identification and optimisation of lead candidates, Muse will combine de novo design with multi-criteria lead optimization.
“I’m excited about our collaboration with AZ and am optimistic that our versatile Pantheon platform will enable Muse to provide the powerful attributes we see emerging from this collaboration,” said Dr Brian Masek, Tripos’ Muse Product Manager and Senior Scientist.
“The combination of Tripos’ and AZ’ technologies have already helped their drug discovery efforts and this collaboration will allow us to further those achievements and, importantly, to make this science available across the industry.”
According to James Empfield, director of lead optimisation chemistry at AZ when defining the desired characteristics of a lead or drug candidate it is important to consider a larger number of different parameters, such as: biological potency, selectivity and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion.
The collaborators anticipate that Muse will enable researchers to find structures, scaffolds and side-chains that meet specific design objectives, while integration with other computer aided molecular design (CAMD) software will allow for multiple design criteria to be targeted at once.
In addition, the software’s molecular modelling features will enable researchers to quickly and easily generate ideas for new scaffolds and side chains that may optimise biological and ADME properties as well as preserving key ‘R-groups’.
“We are confident that the combination of technology and real world insight gained through our efforts with AZ will bring a unique product to our constituents,” said Patrick Flanagan, general manager of Tripos
“We believe that our collective efforts will offer discovery scientists the ability to leverage the robust modelling software of Tripos with the drug development expertise and experience of AZ to offer an easy to use software tool for candidate design.”
Tripos plans that Muse will be the ‘first of many’ packages prepared for release on Tripos’ soon-to be launched Pantheon platform.
Pantheon was announced earlier this month and aims to provide a flexible and powerful software platform that incorporates a robust set of basic cheminformatics and modelling tools and streamlined workflows to make sharing results between users easier.
A beta launch of the Pantheon software is expected in the fourth quarter of 2008 with commercial release expected in the first quarter of 2009; while Tripos expects Muse to be ready for commercial release towards the end of 2008.