Pharma R&D Today

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Ontologies – what do they have to do with pharma research?

Posted on August 24th, 2022 by in AI & Data

You would be forgiven for thinking that the topic of ontology is more the domain of philosophers or linguists – and not necessarily the concern of someone working in the life sciences. After all, the first definition you get if you Google the word ontology is “the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being”. But dive deeper into the term, and you’ll discover that it’s about classifications of things and their relationships to each other – and that can most certainly be of interest to scientists.

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Elsevier and LG: Turning data into action

Posted on April 28th, 2022 by in AI & Data

There are life-changing insights waiting to be found in chemistry data. The critical information waiting to be unlocked can lead to incredible technology advances and medical breakthroughs. But there is so much data out there, and it is multiplying rapidly. At Elsevier, we are excited about a new partnership with world-renowned innovator LG that we are confident will enable researchers to discover and surface more relevant chemistry facts and relationships from scientific literature than ever before.

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Umesh Nandal: Chemist and data scientist in one

Posted on March 10th, 2022 by in AI & Data

Umesh Nandal is a Director of Data Science at Elsevier. As an AI expert with a Master’s in Chemistry, he embodies what Elsevier brings to the table – an actionable fusion of data and domain expertise. “Cross-functional teams combining data science, tech and domain knowledge is the only way we can achieve our collective goal: curing disease,” says Umesh.

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The power of similarities to accelerate antiviral development for COVID-19

Posted on January 11th, 2022 by in COVID-19

In April 2020, I wrote a blog post entitled “Exploiting similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses to accelerate vaccine and therapy development,” where I described research areas leveraging genetic and phenotypic similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and other known viruses. In my quest to find relevant data, I used Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry to generate a list of substances that interact with enterovirus 3C proteases, a target showing striking similarities with the main proteases of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. A set of interesting derivatives using a cyanohydrin as an anchor group caught my attention.1 Interestingly, Pfizer used the cyano warhead a few months later to design their protease inhibitor (PF-07321332). Pfizer’s antiviral forms a complex structure with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, demonstrating the efficacy of the cyano warhead to form a covalent bond with the cysteine residue at the active site.2

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