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MCL 1760.0: Methods and Systems for Drug Screening and Computational Modeling

Peter Siekmeier, M.D., et al.

Background and Description

The invention provides a valuable adjunct to high-throughput screening (HTS) and other tools of modern drug discovery for neuropsychiatric disorders. Specifically, it comprises a method for computer modeling in a computational network of the effects that different chemical compounds or biological factors might have on specific disorders of the brain, as a means of selecting desired chemicals for further research. This can be useful particularly for disorders where there is no good animal model: it can help to identify candidate molecules in conjunction with further chemical analysis, rational drug design, in silico computer-aided drug design, or high-throughput screening. For example, for those diseases or disorders for which a neuronal model has been or can be constructed, one can incorporate into the system computer models of how certain drugs or types of drugs interact with neurons at the cellular level. The neuronal network model then allows one to translate the effects of the drug on a single neuron to the effects it might have on an entire system.

The operation of this model is dependent upon the availability of information, suitable for inclusion in computer models, on the interaction of specific drugs with neurons. Such experimentally-derived data are available for some drug categories today, but it is expected that the availability of such data will continually increase in coming years. Similarly, neuronal models have been constructed for some brain disorders, and others will become available in the future. We anticipate that the concepts developed to date will support a broad Inventions for License position that will cover current and future embodiments of this powerful concept.

Potential Commercial Uses

Publication and Patent Status

McLean Hospital has filed U.S. and PCT patent applications claiming this invention, and is examining strategies for protection of the broad Inventions for License concepts embodied therein.

Licenses Available

McLean Hospital is currently evaluating the commercial prospects for this technology. We envision that this technology will be used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as part of the drug development process, as well as by academic laboratories studying different aspects of the pharmacology of neuropsychiatric drugs. The process could be carried out either by licensing the technology to such companies or academic laboratories for their in-house use, or through the establishment of an independent business wherein a McLean spin-off company conducted collaborative research projects with such companies, or offered the technology as a service to companies and academic laboratories. In addition, commercial involvement or collaboration (e.g., through a sponsored research relationship) may be desirable in the early stages of the technology's development and broad-based proof of concept.

For more information, please contact:

David J. Glass, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Director, Technology Transfer
McLean Hospital Research Administration
115 Mill Street
Belmont, MA 02478-9106
(617) 855-3825 - tel
(617) 855-3745 - fax