Cloud Pharmaceuticals, a therapeutics company focused on cloud-based drug design and development, has been awarded a phase I grant from the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (NSF SBIR) program. The grant is valued at $150,000.
This phase I NSF SBIR project focuses on advancing the development of the Inverse Design computational drug discovery platform. Inverse Design runs computational models to quickly scan vast molecular space to find the strongest inhibitors of specific biological targets. It uses advanced quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations for binding accuracy combined with an artificial intelligence heuristic search algorithm.
"We intend to apply the grants to add tools to enhance the molecular searching functionality of our Inverse Design platform," said Dr. Shahar Keinan, chief scientific officer for Cloud Pharmaceuticals. "The first is a multi-object optimization to further enhance the accuracy of our search results. The second is an automated scaffold-design algorithm that enables highly selective inhibitor designs. These tools will further our efforts to identify molecules that not only bind well to a biological target, but also feature good clinical properties and demonstrate low probability of toxic and off-target side effects, as well as greater stability and synthesizability."