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Home » Industry News » Toronto Neo Biotech Discovering Patient Solutions with AI
Naheed Kurji

Naheed Kurji

President & CEO, Cyclica

Proteins are key molecular machines of the body, and their malfunction can often lead to disease. Current drug discovery practices, while useful, design drugs for single protein targets, but complex diseases like cancer and neurodegenerative, and mental health disorders are multi faceted in nature. Research has shown that drugs can interact with several aspects of our biology, with some interactions being are therapeutic and others causing toxic side effects through off-target interactions or being left not well understood.

Unfortunately, methods to uncover the complexity of drug interactions with multiple proteins, a concept known as polypharmacology, are limited. In order to bring new medicines to patients in need, there’s much more to understand about them than their single protein target, like how they move throughout one’s body (pharmacokinetics) or how individuals interact with them (pharmacogenomics).

At Cyclica, we’re focused on designing drugs for patients, not just for proteins. With the vast amounts of biochemical and health care data, AI and computational biophysics provides researchers with deeper insights into a medicine’s potential impact on biology, allowing us to tailor drug development with greater precision in a more holistic fashion.

Supporting Canadian innovation, we’ve partnered with the University of Toronto to develop treatments for Parkinson’s and treatment-resistant cancer. Globally, we’re working with renowned pharmaceutical companies, including, Merck KGaA, WuXi AppTec, Eurofarma, Yuhan, and Bayer, and have formed and partnered with many biotech companies, such as our recently-announced joint venture with ATAI Life Sciences, Entheogenix Biosciences.

With our unique focus on polypharmacology, we can help discover medicines of the future that are safer, more effective in addressing unmet health care needs, and provide the right medicines to patients in need.

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