Scientists in Australia report this week that they have developed a powerful software modelling tool, MolSAR, which could have the potential to reduce drug development costs by up to €28 million per drug.
Researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) claim that the software can be used to extract useful information from large quantities of data - for example from pharmacological experiments - which can then be used in the drug discovery process.
"MolSAR will mean that a lot of the work to find and develop new drugs can be done on a computer," said Dr Dave Winkler of CSIRO Molecular Science.
In addition, MolSAR can be used in the drug discovery process."It can also search through existing collections of chemicals to find new drug leads and help design new chemical collections which have a higher likelihood of containing good drug leads," continued Winkler.
The scientist adds that the software can 'pre-test' a possible chemical, and find that the compound may work as a drug against the disease but have unwanted side effects. "This saves the company from having to do further testing on a drug that it will not be able to be used," said Winkler.
CSIRO stressed that the MolSAR technology can be used in the human pharmaceutical discovery process as well as agrochemical and veterinary drug discovery.