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one at a time and modeled or docked by a scientist. We believe that traditional small molecule drug discovery is an inefficient, costly and time-consuming process due in part
- the use of molecules that have been generated based on targets other than the one of interest;
- the absence of high affinity molecules
from the library;
- the need for each molecule in a library for docking to be assessed in the many different shapes, or confirmations, in
which the molecule can exist, which can multiply the potential number of molecules to be docked to over a trillion members which vastly increases the complexity of the assessment; and
- the lack of a high quality scoring function, which is a computer program that predicts how tightly a molecule will bind to
the active site on a protein, resulting in docking experiments of questionable reliability.
contrast, we are developing pharmaceutical product candidates through the use of our proprietary, structure-based drug design platform called Contour. The Contour platform combines
our proprietary drug design and modeling software program with a proprietary directional model-based fast and accurate scoring function. Our experienced multi-disciplinary scientific staff integrates
these features with the disciplines of x-ray crystallography, molecular modeling, medicinal chemistry and biology in order to create a rapid, iterative structure-based design and optimization process.
We believe Contour enables our drug discovery process to be more efficient than traditional pharmaceutical approaches because it allows us to rationally design or alter chemical compounds to
specifically interact with the targeted protein by computationally growing and scoring small molecules in a three dimensional structure of a target protein. We believe that the algorithms in Contour
increase the chances for the discovery of potent and selective compounds for protein targets, and enable us to successfully pursue difficult-to-drug targets. Moreover, we believe that Contour
accelerates optimization of lead compounds, since modification of a compound may be undertaken with knowledge of the relationship between the compound's structure and its desired biological effect,
rather than through experimentation after randomly generated modifications to that compound.
Our discovery process is summarized in Figure 25 below.
Figure 25: Contour discovery process.