Partnerships

Agreement with Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

helmholtz collaboration with Pharmacelera
Mel Berg

By Melanie Berg – Nov. 30, 2020

Pharmacelera is proud to announce today, that an agreement was reached with Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) for a collaboration. 

 Helmholtz institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), which is a branch of the HZI, will utilize PharmScreen®, a field-based high throughput virtual screening software package, to identify hit compounds with wider chemical diversity.

HZI is Germany’s largest academic institution dedicated exclusively to infection research. In line with its mission, the centre develops new strategies for the early detection, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases. HZI researchers investigate bacterial and viral pathogens of high clinical relevance, elucidate their interactions with the host‘s immune system and explore new ways to prevent and combat infections.

“I am looking forward to a fruitful collaboration with Pharmacelera”, Dr. Mostafa Hamed, PostDoc at HIPS, Department of Drug Design and Optimization (DDOP), said. His team, led by Prof. Dr. Anna K. H. Hirsch, is working on a target-based strategy, both targets which impair vital mechanisms of bacteria, and effectively kill them, and targets interfering with pathogenicity and virulence without affecting bacterial viability. The Hirsch group applies a series of established drug discovery strategies, including structure and fragment based drug design, classical medicinal chemistry and virtual screening. 

This is where  PharmScreen® plays a key role. As the tool uses a unique and superior 3D representation of molecules based on electrostatic, steric and hydrophobic interaction fields derived from semi-empirical Quantum-Mechanics (QM) calculations. Such fields describe with high accuracy the factors that determine ligand / receptor interactions. These chemo-type agnostic descriptors allow PharmScreen® identifying candidate molecules with similar physico-chemical properties to reference compounds, and different and diverse molecular scaffolds. 

 “This agreement is extremely aligned with Pharmacelera’s strategy to work with top-notch institutions in the field of drug discovery”, Enric Gibert, Pharmacelera’s CEO, comments. “We are delighted to work with Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, a world-wide recognized research institution.”