SilcsBio Awarded $1,760,531 in SBIR Phase II Funding from the National Institutes of Health

SilcsBio will leverage the award to extend its commercially available software from small molecule design to the design of biological therapeutics

November 16, 2021, Baltimore, MD – SilcsBio, a technology company that develops and markets software and services for structure-based drug design, today announced it has been awarded a $1,760,531 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

This NIH award, titled “Computational methods for optimized biologics formulation,” will enable SilcsBio to continue its work developing a rational formulation design technology using computational methods to allow screening of a large number of excipient/buffer combinations to accelerate and improve biopharmaceutical development. 

This work, via SilcsBio’s computer aided drug design (CADD) platform, will enable pharmaceutical and contract research organizations to more rapidly bring new therapeutic treatments to market while helping improve clinical outcomes. SilcsBio’s proprietary CADD software technology is built on a computational functional group mapping technique that provides a detailed view, via FragMaps, of the entire protein surface and characterizes interactions between the protein and other molecules. 

In the context of biotherapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies, the approach provides critical insights into a protein-based drug’s propensity for aggregation and high viscosity and identifies excipients/buffers to prevent this aggregation and minimize viscosity.

“Use of CADD tools fundamentally changes the way we approach biologics formulation” said Sunhwan Jo, Commercial Development Director with SilcsBio. “As biotherapeutics, such as monoclonal antibodies, become more expensive to bring to market, the cost for patients is rising exponentially. Continuing to utilize and advance computer-based methodologies can shrink timelines for bringing lifesaving and disease-altering protein-based drugs to market as well as reduce final drug prices for patients. This NIH grant award will help our team achieve these goals.”

“This NIH grant award will go a long way to helping us expand SilcsBio’s platform to applications for biological therapeutics in addition to the area of small molecule drug design where our technologies have been applied for years,” said Tina Guvench, Technical Marketing Manager with SilcsBio. “With these new resources, we can build upon our physics-based approaches that give molecular and atomistic insights into key interactions between proteins and other molecules to inform rational design of drugs or formulations for biologics. An upfront calculation to map out the protein’s interaction preferences paves the way for very efficient screening of large numbers of potential excipients to focus efforts in the lab and save valuable resources and time.” 

This new NIH grant award follows the NIH’s recent move to designate SilcsBio for inclusion in its Innovation Zone at the BIO Digital International Convention 2021 last June. The NIH’s Innovation Zone showcased NIH-funded companies, including SilcsBio, and their cutting-edge healthcare technologies.

SilcsBio’s research work for this grant is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44GM130198. SilcsBio’s research content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About SilcsBio:
SilcsBio, LLC offers a platform technology that advances computational drug design applications through detailed protein mapping that accounts for flexibility and solvation and enables highly efficient ligand binding evaluation, virtual screening, and more. SilcsBio software and services span from target protein mapping and analysis through lead optimization and offers key insights for biological therapeutic formulations. The proprietary software unlocks hidden binding hotspots of target proteins and reveals the preferred ligand chemistries at those sites to rapidly guide the drug design process. SilcsBio most recently announced a partnership with Aikido Pharmaceuticals. SilcsBio is a Drug Design portfolio company of Early Charm. Learn more: www.silcsbio.com 

Media Contact:
Tina Guvench
SilcsBio
tina@silcsbio.com
(410) 401-9794, ext. 701