LONDON, May 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Apple's visionary founder Steve Jobs once said, "The biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology."
Silicon Valley-based Verseon now sees itself at this juncture after building a proprietary physics-and AI-driven technology platform to create new drugs atom by atom.
Verseon's Chief Technology Officer Sangtae Kim, a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, says the platform is far more sophisticated than the "AI systems" of other drug developers, as it enables Verseon to design the entirely new chemical structures needed to fight currently untreatable diseases.
He points out that the effectiveness of AI critically depends on the amount and quality of data available for its training. But other current AI drug-discovery companies only have data from the small pool of existing drugs and past trial-and-error experiments, severely limiting their ability to find completely novel drug molecules.
Anirban Datta, Verseon's Head of Biology, wrote in Drug Discovery Online that "there are many orders of magnitude more potential small molecule drugs … than are represented in available data."
As recently highlighted in Impact Wealth Magazine, Verseon's founders realized that systematic design of completely new drugs requires breakthroughs in molecular-physics modeling to determine how new chemical structures will bind to a disease-causing protein.
Using its platform, Verseon has identified multiple clinical candidates for every one of its programs - a feat unheard of in the pharmaceutical industry. The company is not only bringing much-needed new treatments to market for killers like cancers and heart disease, but also developing products that slow human aging and boost longevity.
BioSpace's Gail Dutton recently observed that Verseon "is beginning to fill in the map of uncharted drug discovery space. In effect, it is replacing the void of 'here be dragons' (as one 16th-century mapmaker warned) with islands of known entities." She therefore concluded that Verseon is "changing the paradigm of drug discovery."
Verseon's management team members have previously made transformational breakthroughs in various fields.
Co-founders Adityo Prakash and Eniko Fodor developed technologies now owned by Intel that power all video streaming today, from Amazon Prime to Zoom. The third Verseon founder, David Kita, developed one of the first bioinformatics platforms that catalyzed novel gene detection during the genomics revolution.
And Sangtae Kim - a former VP at major pharma company Eli Lilly and Chair of Purdue's Chemical Engineering Division - now drives further enhancement of Verseon's powerful AI and proprietary data sets.
"Verseon's platform comprises significant new advances within multiple distinct branches of science," says Kim. "It is by far the most advanced ab initio drug design methodology currently in existence."
Verseon is currently trialling drugs with remarkably low bleeding risk to treat and prevent heart attacks and strokes in over 400 million patients worldwide. Uncontrolled bleeding is the biggest risk factor associated with current alternatives.
One of the world's leading cardiologists, Professor John Deanfield of University College London, commented:
"Verseon's platelet-sparing anticoagulants…represent an exciting 'precision medicine' opportunity for the treatment of a large population of cardiovascular disease patients."
The company is also developing oral drugs to treat diabetic vision loss in over 154 million patients and three different programs to fight cancer - one of the world's biggest killers.
All of these are part of a fast-growing drug pipeline of 16 candidate drugs across eight programs.
Pfizer's former SVP of R&D Strategy Robert Karr commented: "Verseon's platform is finally ushering in the age of systematic discovery and development of novel drugs."
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