Ariana and Institut Pasteur sign wide-ranging agreements

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Nov 2, 2005 dm (0)

Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company combining proprietary artificial intelligence technology and experimental methods to predict the behavior of novel molecules, today announced a series of agreements with the Institut Pasteur involving Ariana’s new virtual screening platform.

Under the terms of the agreements, Institut Pasteur is taking/has taken takes an unspecified shareholding in Ariana, becomes a customer for Ariana’s technology and provides use of its Pasteur BioTop incubator to the start-up company which brings together know-how from Cambridge UK and France. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ariana’s virtual screening platform has been developed alongside the company’s KEM(TM) (Knowledge Extraction Management). It allows fast and accurate screening of small molecules against desired targets. The technology developed by Ariana Pharmaceuticals can very rapidly come up with a number of molecules able to inhibit a given protein. Using KEM, the user can then make sure the selected molecules not only have a strong probability of binding to the target but will also have good pharmacokinetic or ADMET qualities. This means they will be easily absorbed, not excreted too fast and that they are non-toxic.

As a result of the agreements between the two parties, Ariana Pharmaceutical will provide the Institut Pasteur with a service that will identify real serioushigh quality candidate molecules using its experimental screening platform. The platform is able to deliver extremely reliable quantitative data on 1,000 molecules a day. “This agreement with the Institut Pasteur is a strong endorsement of our technology,” said Dr Mohammad Afshar, founder and CEO of Ariana. “We at Ariana are all the more proud of this achievement because it is the first time the Institut Pasteur has invested in a company to access technology that it believes will be useful to its own research activities. We expect the strong synergy between the Institut Pasteur’s technology and that developed by Ariana will produce important scientific advances and value creation.”“The deal also means Ariana will be able to use all the facilities of the Pasteur BioTop incubator and benefit from the know-how of its team of advisers who have accumulated a vast amount of experience as well as some outstanding success stories in creating biotech companies,” added Afshar. “We will also be able to interact with Pasteur scientists on some of their projects – an activity which should lead to exciting crossfertilization.”