Numerate awarded contract for rapidly designed drugs to fight bioagents

Officials with Numerate Inc. have announced that they were recently awarded a three year contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to adapt their drug design platform to rapidly design drugs to be used against biowarfare agents.

Numerate officials said they could receive up to $6.75 million under the contract, which is funded through the DTRA’s Transformational Medical Technologies Program.

Under the contract, Numerate will develop the capability to simultaneously optimize absorption, metabolism and distribution profiles while eliminating drug interaction liabilities. Officials said they also hope to deliver small, novel molecule drug leads to treat hemorrhagic fever viruses, like Ebola, and to design an anti-bacterial drug lead.

“Drugs targeted against bio-threats need to meet a high standard in terms of safety, efficacy and dosing convenience, as well as have minimal potential for drug-drug interactions,” Dr. Nigel Duffy, Numerate’s chief technology officer, said. “By extending the capabilities of our technology to address ADME issues, we expect to deliver a cutting-edge drug design system that can provide unprecedented speed, efficiency and predictability in designing biowarfare countermeasures.”

Guido Lanza, Numerate's CEO, agreed.

“We are excited to be working on this project with TMT one of the few organizations with a vision to radically transform the drug discovery and development process,” Lanza said. “The only way to significantly improve the efficiency of drug discovery is with a new approach that lets the data drive the design process and addresses all of the key design criteria in parallel, including activity, ADME, patentability, and safety. Numerate’s technology platform provides the basis for just such a paradigm shift, not only to enable the timely design of biowarfare countermeasures, but also to solve major challenges in the design and development of new drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, inflammation and other diseases burdening the healthcare system.”