Almirall and BSC to collaborate in SilicoDerm project

31 October 2018

SilicoDerm is a research project aimed to develop novel computational drug design methodologies applied to dermatological targets.

  • The application of SilicoDerm computational methodologies will facilitate the identification of active compounds for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, specifically atopic dermatitis and psoriasis

Almirall, S.A. and the Electronic and Atomic Protein Modeling Group (EAPM) from the Life Sciences Department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) have entered into a research collaboration, SilicoDerm, a project focused on computational drug design applied to dermatological therapeutic targets.

SilicoDerm aims to develop novel high-performance computational methodologies that facilitate the identification of active compounds for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases of Almirall’s interest, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. The project scope encompasses from the development of the computational methodologies for two novel therapeutics targets, to the synthesis and evaluation of the compounds identified in-silico. The new protein-based 3D virtual screening methodologies of SilicoDerm will allow to study thousands of compounds in a faster and a more reliable way than current computational methodologies.

Dr. Jordi Gràcia, Head of Drug Discovery, Almirall, commented: “Our collaboration with BSC is an outstanding opportunity for Almirall R&D. The application of these novel computational methodologies for drug design will facilitate the identification of new compounds, and therefore, reduce the time of development of new drugs that will broaden our spectrum of potential treatments for unmet medical needs in patients with skin diseases."

At the same time, Dr. Víctor Guallar, leader of the Electronic and Atomic Protein Modelling (EAPM) Group from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), stated: “This project shows the maturity of the modeling techniques developed at BSC to address real life drug design projects. We invested many years of research to get here." PELE (Protein Energy Landscape Exploration) is the core technology from the EAPM laboratory at BSC. It has been developed over more than 15 years and backed up by several international grants, such as the Advanced European Research Council, and benchmarks, such as the latest CSAR competition. PELE is a simulation program that combines a MonteCarlo stochastic approach with protein structure prediction and energy minimization algorithms. These techniques, allow to improve significantly the sampling capabilities of other softwares. It can be used for solving a wide variety of molecular recognition problems, including drug design and enzyme engineering.

SilicoDerm project is being financed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICINN) through the grants Reto de Colaboración 2017 and co-financed by FEDER funds from the European Commission.

About Almirall

Almirall is a leading skin-health focused global pharmaceutical company that partners with healthcare professionals, applying Science to provide medical solutions to patients & future generations. Our efforts are focused on fighting against skin health diseases and helping people feel and look their best. We support healthcare professionals in its continuous improvement, bringing our innovative solutions where they are needed. The company, founded in 1943 and with headquarters in Barcelona, is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange (ticker: ALM). Almirall has become a key element of value creation to society according to its commitment with its major shareholders and its decision to help others, to understand their challenges and to use Science to provide them with solutions for real life. Total revenue in 2017 was 755.8 million euros and more than 1,830 employees are devoted to Science.

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