Accelrys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACCL), a leading scientific enterprise R&D software and services company, today announced a new release of the Discovery Studio® life sciences modeling and simulation software. The release incorporates the first commercially available software for predicting protein-protein aggregation to advance biotherapeutics research. In addition, a major update to the software's 3D-molecular ActiveX control enables researchers to display dynamic molecular visualizations in webpages, Microsoft Office® applications and Microsoft SharePoint® collaboration software.
As a key application in the Modeling and Simulation pillar of the Accelrys Enterprise R&D Architecture, Discovery Studio extends comprehensive modeling and simulation capabilities and knowledge from experts to the enterprise, combining collaborative science from Accelrys and leading academic and research institutions on a unified platform. The latest release includes the integration of a new algorithm licensed from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that enables protein engineers to identify the size and location of regions on antibodies prone to aggregation and then predict mutations to improve formulation stability.
"One of the major problems encountered in developing biopharmaceutical therapies is the inherent instability of biopharmaceuticals to degradation processes such as protein aggregation, especially during long-term storage," said Bernhardt L. Trout, Ph.D., of the department of chemical engineering at MIT. "The spatial aggregation propensity code, developed in collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company and now licensed by Accelrys, helps scientists rank antibodies and other proteins for their propensity to aggregation and determine which sites govern this phenomenon. This can be done from early in the discovery stage through development with a view to selecting stable candidates and engineering stable biomolecules."
Optimized by Accelrys for commercial use, the spatial aggregation propensity software provides significant time, cost and efficiency savings for research teams developing biological therapeutics by helping scientists rationalize aggregation effects and suggesting modifications to remedy the issue. By integrating the aggregation code into wider design workflows, scientists can make highly informed decisions on what changes to make without risking the stability or efficacy of the biologic.
"Accelrys customers rely on cutting edge science to bring critical innovations, whether in medicine or consumer electronics, to the market. With scientific advancements being made every day in leading research institutions, a unified platform that extends that progress and scientific expertise across the enterprise is essential," said Accelrys Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer, Frank Brown, Ph.D. "At the same time, as pressure around increased efficiency and time to market intensifies, teams are relying on sophisticated modeling and simulation software to conduct critical research. With its flexibility and improved visualization capabilities, Discovery Studio 3.1 enables computational experts to develop sophisticated predictive models and communicate them clearly to scientists who need them to identify leads and optimize candidates."
In addition to the spatial aggregation propensity code, Discovery Studio 3.1 features an updated Visualizer program with significant improvements to its 3D-molecular plug-in, Discovery Studio ActiveX Control. Now, leveraging the ActiveX plug-in with Visualizer's convenient "storyboard" functionality, computational modeling experts can quickly and efficiently share interactive 3D visualizations of small molecules, proteins, nucleic acids, crystal structures and pharmacophore models with colleagues. Available as a free download with Discovery Studio Visualizer, the new ActiveX viewer enables scientists to insert dynamic molecular visualizations into webpages, slideshows and other presentation formats while also providing the flexibility to modify chemistry and data displays on-the-fly.
Other Discovery Studio 3.1 features include:
- New x-ray crystallography functionality (HT-XPIPE), enhanced pharmacophore and macromolecule protocols and significant partner updates (CHARMm, NAMD, CCDC GOLD)
- Improved collaboration and knowledge transfer with improved storyboard playback features and capability to export movies
- Easier deployment through full compatibility with the most recent release of the Pipeline Pilot™ platform, leveraging the latest Cluster and Grid enhancements