Sai Life Sciences, one of India’s fastest growing Contract Development & Manufacturing Organizations (CDMOs), today announced its collaboration with the COVID Moonshot project that aims to deliver an antiviral drug candidate effective against COVID-19. With an in-kind contribution of a team of Medicinal Chemists and supporting infrastructure, Sai Life Sciences will help synthesize and profile analogues for NCEs and other previously known compounds tested for other viruses.
PostEra, a biotechnology company specialising in machine learning for drug discovery, is leading the initiative. Joining them are leading experts in the fields of computational drug discovery, chemical synthesis and biochemical assays. In the three months since its start in February this year, the team has already identified over 60 experimentally-confirmed ‘fragments’ that effectively target a key protein associated with COVID-19. It has now opened a crowdsourcing initiative to accelerate the design of potential drug candidates from these fragments and received over 4,000 submissions from contributors around the world.
Welcoming Sai Life Sciences into the consortium, CEO of PostEra, Aaron Morris, said, “We are immensely grateful for Sai Life Sciences’ contribution to this project. They are helping take the most promising crowdsourced ideas from the Moonshot platform and turning these ideas into chemical reality. It is generosity like this that gives us hope that this moonshot of a project could achieve something ground-breaking in our search for an effective COVID antiviral.”
Speaking about its participation in the project, CEO & Managing Director of Sai Life Sciences, Krishna Kanumuri, said, “We are delighted to join this important global initiative. The consortium approach to finding treatments for patients in the fight against COVID-19 is a worthy cause and something that aligns very well with our purpose of working with partners to accelerate solutions for improving life.”
Over the past two decades, Sai Life Sciences has built up a portfolio of NCE Discovery services on the foundation of a strong chemical synthesis platform. The company today offers innovator biotechs and pharmaceutical companies the full spectrum of Discovery services from Target ID & Validation through till IND, in addition to a robust suite of capabilities across NCE development and cGMP manufacturing.