Case Studies

IBM-Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc.

A biopharmaceutical company, Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. specializes in discovering, developing, and commercializing drug treatments for metabolic and liver diseases. The challenge this company was facing was that they wanted to accelerate the drug discovery process through the development of more accurate and easier-to-use methods. The company attempted to address this issue by creating Free Energy Perturbation (FEP)-based computer-aided drug design (CADD) software. After the creation of their powerful software, Metabasis then needed to find a robust computing environment that would facilitate its FEP calculations.

Vendor: IBM (NYSE: IBM)
Customer: Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. www.mbasis.com      
Vertical Markets: Life sciences


Technology Used: IBM System p5 575 server, IBM AIX V5.3 operating system


Solution
: A biopharmaceutical company, Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. specializes in discovering, developing, and commercializing drug treatments for metabolic and liver diseases. Most of the company’s efforts are focused on finding effective treatments for prevalent and widespread conditions.

 

The challenge this company was facing was that they wanted to accelerate the drug discovery process through the development of more accurate and easier-to-use methods. The company attempted to address this issue by creating Free Energy Perturbation (FEP)-based computer-aided drug design (CADD) software. This impressive system was capable of improving the reliability of predictions on which the company based drug design decisions. This would in turn reduce the time needed to find suitable candidates for human clinical trials.

 

After the creation of their powerful software, Metabasis then needed to find a robust computing environment that would facilitate its FEP calculations. To meet this requirement, the company relied on IBM technologies. An IBM System p5 575 supercomputer running the IBM AIX V5.3 operating system was deployed to enhance throughput for Metabasis’s CADD solution and perform numerical computations.

 

The system currently being used by Metabasis has a number of advantageous features and benefits. First, since the IBM supercomputer has 16 robust processors, certain stages of complex computations can be processed in parallel, thus delivering faster results that can also speed up the drug discovery process. The company's CADD solution has eliminated about 80 percent of the compounds that need to be developed and lab tested for a specific drug target. Ultimately, this will likely increase the speed with which new drugs and effective treatments can be brought to market.

 

Finally, if Metabasis’s plan to commercial their CADD solution is successful, it could accelerate drug development throughout the entire pharmaceutical industry.

 

Further details: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/software/solutions/pdfs/SWC14017-USEN-00.pdf 




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