Hyderabad and Kharagpur, India: Tuesday, 16th May 2018.
Excelra Knowledge Solutions (www.excelra.com), a leading global bio-informatics Company and IIT-Kharagpur announce a multi-year collaboration aimed at accelerating research in Drug Repurposing. The alliance will leverage diverse skill-sets and domain expertise of the two partners and integrate Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) technology in Excelra’s Drug Repurposing engine.
With mounting costs involved in drug development, Drug Repurposing is a seen as a rapidly evolving field aimed at identifying new therapeutic uses of pre-existing or failed drugs. Excelra’s proprietary Global Repurposing Integrated platform (GRIP) is driven by a rich proprietary database combining over 40 public data sources with in-house developed curated databases and various algorithms. The team of scientists from Excelra and IIT-Kharagpur will use publicly available ontologies and Excelra databases with Drug-Disease-Target relationships for training NLP and ML algorithms. These algorithms will be instrumental in extracting biologically relevant information from different data sources and building a scientific rationale for a novel therapeutic potential of a drug.
“We are thrilled to partner with a prestigious institution like IIT-Kharagpur reputed for its talent pool. The technical prowess at IIT-Kharagpur and the pharma analytics expertise at Excelra will give a tremendous boost to Drug Repurposing. This is an innovative approach that will accelerate research and enhance the opportunity to promote drug discovery and development,” said Dr. Nandu Gattu, Vice President, Pharma Analytics, Excelra.
“Academia-industry collaborations are becoming increasingly important for dissipation of knowledge and promotion of entrepreneurship. NLP and ML are being used extensively for text analytics to understand contextual inference of the extracted information. We are glad to partner with Excelra in the pursuit of bringing more drugs into the market by significantly cutting down development costs and time,” said Prof. Sudeshna Sarkar, Head, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kharagpur and PI of the Project.
Excelra is a leading global Biopharma Data and Analytics company. Its roots spun-out of GVKBio, one of Asia’s top Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO). Excelra focuses on scientific data curation and analytics services for the Biopharma industry. With over last 15 years of high-fidelity curation engine, Excelra has created valuable data assets from drug chemistry (for medicinal drug discovery scientists) to biomarkers (for translational biologists) and clinical outcomes (for pharmacometricians and clinical developers). The analytics team, which is driven by top-notch scientific talent (PhDs and above), is continuously engaged in science consulting for custom projects in computational chemistry and biology, bioinformatics, drug-repurposing and life science software development.
Excelra has developed proprietary databases for Structure Activity Relationships (GOSTAR), Biomarkers (GOBIOM) and Clinical Trials Outcome (CTOD). The Pharma Analytics unit within Excelra has a strong focus on data analytics across the Pharma value chain, right from Discovery to Commercialization.
IIT Kharagpur is one of India’s premier academic and research institutes for engineering established in 1951. It is recognized as an institute of national importance by the Indian government and offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. IIT-Kharagpur, with its multi-disciplinary research areas, is ranked among the top technical institutes in the country.