SAN FRANCISCO and NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PostEra, a biotechnology company offering medicinal chemistry powered by machine learning, today announced a collaboration with NeuroLucent, a Chicago-based company focused on developing novel treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
The failure of late-stage clinical trials to uncover effective therapies for Alzheimer's disease has underscored the need to explore novel therapeutic approaches. NeuroLucent is developing novel small molecule compounds that normalize a key calcium channel that is dysregulated in Alzheimer's neurons and restore normal neuronal function in multiple preclinical Alzheimer's models.
NeuroLucent has partnered with PostEra to accelerate its search for a therapeutic candidate. PostEra will use its machine learning technology to optimise NeuroLucent's lead compounds through a series of 'design-make-test' cycles that has previously been shown to accelerate medicinal chemistry campaigns. PostEra will also leverage its Manifold platform, which provides access to compounds through a world-wide network of vendors and partner contract research organizations.
Commercial terms include an upfront payment to PostEra, with additional payments upon the achievement of certain milestones.
"We're excited about the potential of integrating PostEra's technology into the design of more potent compounds," said Bill Kohlbrenner, CEO of NeuroLucent. "We are intrigued by PostEra's machine learning algorithm since it doesn't require detailed structural information related to the drug target. We're looking forward to seeing what impact PostEra's AI solutions will have on our program."
NeuroLucent holds an exclusive license to technology developed at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science by Dr. Grace (Beth) Stutzmann, who uncovered a link between aberrant Ca2+ signalling, long known to occur in Alzheimer's neurons, and a Ca2+ channel that becomes 'leaky' in disease. NeuroLucent's preclinical stage compounds have been validated in multiple disease models and the current company focus is on identifying a clinical development candidate that addresses the cognitive loss associated with Alzheimer's disease.
PostEra was founded in 2019 and its technology is built on pioneering academic research done at the University of Cambridge. The technology addresses some of the key challenges in drug discovery R&D by integrating molecular design with chemical synthesis. PostEra partners with drug hunters to help expedite their preclinical programs while also offering some of its synthesis technology via its Manifold web platform. PostEra also helps lead the world's largest open-science drug discovery effort; COVID Moonshot.