Avalanche for shape and feature-based virtual screening with 3D alignment

Snowdon introduces a new ligand-based virtual screening tool called Avalanche that incorporates both shape- and feature-based comparison with three-dimensional (3D) alignment between the query molecule and test compounds residing in a chemical database. Avalanche proceeds in two steps. The first step is an extremely rapid shape/feature based comparison which is used to narrow the focus from potentially millions or billions of candidate molecules and conformations to a more manageable number that are then passed to the second step. The second step is a detailed yet still rapid 3D alignment of the remaining candidate conformations to the query conformation. Using the 3D alignment, these remaining candidate conformations are scored, re-ranked and presented to the user as the top hits for further visualization and evaluation. To provide further insight into the method, the results from two prospective virtual screens are presented which show the ability of Avalanche to identify hits from chemical databases that would likely be missed by common substructure-based or fingerprint-based search methods. The Avalanche method is extended to enable patent landscaping, i.e., structural refinements to improve the patentability of hits for deployment in drug discovery campaigns. [Read the full article …]

Avalanche Video Tutorial – Part 1:

Avalanche Video Tutorial – Part 2:

Transformational Medical Technologies Award from DoD

Snowdon, Inc., today announced that it has been awarded a new three-year contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) Program, Transformational Medical Technologies (TMT) for the discovery and preclinical development of novel medical treatments to combat biowarfare pathogens. Snowdon may receive up to $8.2 million in support of development efforts under this new Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) contract.

Snowdon is partnering with two centers of excellence at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ-NJMS). The Center for Emerging Pathogens in the Department of Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Nancy Connell, will test Snowdon’s drug candidates on specific biowarfare pathogens. The Center maintains high-level biosafety containment facilities for this purpose. Snowdon will also be assisted by the newly opened Regional Biocontainment Laboratory of UMDNJ under the direction of Dr. David Perlin, Director of the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI).

Snowdon has recently expanded its research and development space and facilities in the Princeton Research Center (Monmouth Junction, NJ) and has hired additional scientific staff and technical personnel. This DTRA contract will complement Snowdon’s ongoing activities in the development of novel treatments for pain, nervous system disorders, and other infectious diseases. [read full press release at BusinessWire.com]

NIH Grant Awarded

Snowdon was awarded a grant for $628,000 over two years by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop novel therapies for toxoplasmosis, a serious parasitic disease that affects immuno-compromised individuals such as HIV infected patients and organ transplant recipients. The Company is collaborating on this project with Rima McLeod, M.D., a distinguished clinician-scientist at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Technology Fellowship Grant Awarded by NJCST

Snowdon was awarded a two-year $150,000 Technology Fellowship grant by the New Jersey Commission on Science & Technology (NJCST) to support Dr. Oyenike Olabisi for her research on novel anti-cancer treatments. Dr. Olabisi earned the Ph.D. degree in 2008 at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School (UMDNJ-NJMS).

Small Business Innovation Research Grant Awarded by NIH

Snowdon was awarded a $130,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to support development of the company’s novel technology aimed at the prevention and treatment of protein misfolding diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Snowdon’s Early Successes

July 9, 2007: Snowdon’s success in attracting funding to development its potential drug candidates was featured in an article authored by Thomas Gaudio in NJBIZ magazine.

June 23, 2007: Snowdon was awarded a two-year $500,000 Edison Innovation Award grant from the New Jersey Commission on Science & Technology (NJCST) to develop its lead compounds for the treatment of toxoplasmosis and related serious parasitic infections.

March 22, 2007: Snowdon secured $500,000 in venture capital funding from the Foundation Venture Capital Group LLC (FVCG). It is the venture firm’s first investment.