Simulations Plus Wins Phase II, Small Business Innovation Research Grant
Simulations Plus, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLP), a leading provider of software for pharmaceutical discovery and development, today announced that it was notified by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that the company has been awarded a $525,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)grant. The NCI is an agency of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant, which is disbursed over two years, is for Simulations Plus to further enrich the predictive capabilities of its best-in-class ADMET Predictor™ software product. ADMET Predictor is a software research tool used worldwide by pharmaceutical scientists to estimate absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity properties of pharmaceutical compounds and to build advanced mathematical models.
Dr. Robert Fraczkiewicz, team leader for ADMET Cheminformatics for Simulations Plus and principal investigator for the grant, said: “This Phase II grant extends the development and validation of our novel very fast method of calculating quantum atomic and molecular descriptors – important properties of new drug molecules that govern how they interact with each other and their environment. The importance of the method we are developing cannot be overstated since these parameters are essential for accurate predictive modeling of molecular properties, especially in the areas of metabolism and toxicity. Independent comparison studies have shown ADMET Predictor models to be the most accurate in the world and we have now developed a novel method to further improve on them. Prior to our Phase I effort, calculating quantum descriptors of sufficient quality required enormous amounts of computer time. In our Phase I effort we developed commercially valuable calculation methods that are orders of magnitude faster and yet accurate enough to provide improved prediction of a number of properties for new drug-like molecules. These calculations have already been commercially deployed in our latest release of ADMET Predictor and are in use by customers world-wide.”
Michael Bolger, chief scientist for Simulations Plus, added: “This award means additional support for our in-house product development and company growth. Although the science behind this study is quite sophisticated, it is clear that the speed with which these descriptors can be calculated determines the speed at which they can be used in predictive software models for many important drug properties. We have already demonstrated that with the current calculations of quantum descriptors, the predictive accuracy of a number of our models has been increased. The extensions to be developed in this Phase II effort are expected to push us further ahead of competitors and create an even higher barrier to entry for others who may wish to enter this product space.”
The primary objectives of the government’s SBIR program are to stimulate technological innovations in the private sector and to strengthen the role of small businesses in meeting federal research and development needs.