Partner Spotlight:In Silico Biosciences, Inc
In Silico Biosciences, Inc. is a Knowledge Management Consultancy company using advanced computer modeling and simulation platforms to support drug discovery and development from target validation to personal medicine. Founded in 1999, In Silico Biosciences builds mechanistic mathematical models of physiological systems in CNS diseases, integrating formalized knowledge from multiple disciplines including pharmacology, systems biology, neurophysiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and enzymology. This powerful Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) modeling approach has enabled a better understanding of human brain disease physiology and led to translational tools for predicting the outcome of therapeutic interventions.
One key insight in CNS quantitative systems pharmacology is that human pathology is driven by an imbalance in networks rather than deficits at a single target or gene. Hence, it is necessary to modulate multiple targets to move from a complex disease state towards health. To this end, In Silico Biosciences focuses on the discovery and development of multi-target CNS compounds, using a modeling platform that provides insights into systemic neurophysiology at each stage of research and development. This QSP platform has demonstrated value for Pharma R&D by blindly predicting three unexpected clinical trial outcomes of novel CNS drugs.
Model-based decision and knowledge support is provided in the following psychiatric and neurological diseases:
- Schizophrenia (PANSS Total, PANSS Negative, Cognitive Impairment)
- Antipsychotic-induced side effects (Extra-pyramidal symptoms)
- Alzheimer’s disease (Cognition, Neuropsychiatric symptoms and Beta-amyloid dynamics)
- Parkinson’s disease (Rigidity-bradykinesia, Tremor, L-DOPA induced dyskinesia)
In Silico Biosciences and the MAPTA Initiative
Neurodegenerative disorders result from processes that are disrupted during disease progression. The microtubule associated-protein tau (MAPT) is a key driver of Alzheimer’s disease and many other tauopathies, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Although thousands of studies have investigated tau, few therapeutic trials have been conducted given the complexity of this target. To better understand the role of tau in disease, integrative approaches are necessary that can bridge the translational divide between rodent models and human patients.
To address this, Cohen Veterans Bioscience – in partnership with In Silico Biosciences – has launched the MAPTA (Modeling Alliance of Systems Pharmacology in TAuopathies) Initiative. MAPTA will simulate the quantitative relationships between agents and processes that lead to tau neuropathology, using preclinical data of tau neurobiology and clinical data on tau progression. MAPTA will also integrate clinical and preclinical data in PTSD and TBI to create computational models of pathological changes that occur in the cortico-striatal-thalamic neurocircuitry. Once established and tested, the PTSD- and TBI-enriched QSP models will be used to develop an in silico drug repurposing screen (e.g., screening existing drugs for therapeutic interventions) and to advance PTSD and TBI research by optimizing the development of therapeutic strategies and increasing our understanding of disease pathology.
Overall, the MAPTA initiative is bringing together leaders from academia and industry to develop a predictive and actionable QSP model that can validate new targets and support R&D of novel therapeutics.
About Hugo Geerts
Dr. Hugo Geerts is currently Chief Scientific Officer of In Silico Biosciences, a company providing pioneering mechanistic disease modeling services in CNS research and development for pharmaceutical companies with programs in Neurology and Psychiatry. Dr. Geerts holds a bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics, a bachelor’s degree in medicine, a PhD in biophysics from the University of Antwerp, and a Pharmaceutical Executive MBA degree from Drexel’s Lebow College of Business in Philadelphia.
Previously, he worked with the legendary drug hunter Dr. Paul Janssen as a research fellow at the Janssen Research Foundation, where he headed Alzheimer Discovery Research and supported the successful clinical development of galantamine (Razadyne) in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to his work at In Silico Biosciences, Dr. Geerts is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He has more than ninety peer-reviewed publications and he is inventor/co-inventor on twelve patents.