WHAT IF…we could design medicines targeting the full cellular and molecular complexity of disease to dramatically improve the success rate of drug discovery and of curing disease?
Cells are the fundamental unit of life. As evolved and dynamic systems, cells have behaviors that are essential to human health. The many diverse behaviors of cells are defined and governed at the level of networks, through the complex interactions of their molecular components.
The potential to achieve medical breakthroughs by deciphering the full cellular and molecular complexity of disease has long attracted researchers. Cellarity’s founders understood that powerful new technologies can now perturb and quantitate virtually any cellular or molecular component in parallel and, in so doing, generate the data necessary to unravel this complexity. They also realized the depth and diversity of such data surpass the human capacity for interpretation.
Cellarity approaches drug discovery and development from this new frame of reference, driven by the networks underlying cell behaviors rather than by a cell's individual parts.
Rather than fully capturing the complexity of disease, researchers historically have simplified cell behavior, distilling cells to their molecular components. In this way, individual genes or pathways isolated from cells have provided the foundation for deterministic models that reduce massive and complex biological networks to a single protein- or pathway-driver of disease. While this target-centric approach has produced many effective therapies, its success is reaching the point of diminishing returns. This coincides with a growing appreciation of the complexity of disease.
In other industries, the human capacity to comprehend the dynamics of complex systems has been increasingly assisted by the capabilities enabled by the power of big data, distributed computing and novel mathematical computational methods. What were once extremely difficult problems to solve may now be approached by leveraging newly invented tools and methods that are domain agnostic. Machine learning, information theory, network science and dynamical system analysis can all be leveraged to gain an understanding of complexity. What is more, they can be used to generate accurate predictions for the manipulation of such systems.
Cellarity’s founders believe a similar opportunity exists for drug discovery. We asked whether there was a better way to understand disease and discover drugs—one that appreciates that biology operates at the level of networks—to maximize the likelihood of success.
IT TURNS OUT…by digitizing biology and drug action, Cellarity can harness the molecular networks controlling cell behaviors in a wide array of diseases and uncover potent new medicines to direct them with unprecedented predictability and speed.
Digital Blueprints of Cell Behaviors
Biological experimentation is slow. Computation is fast. High dimensional, fit-for-purpose data allow digital representations to triangulate the network effects underlying cell behaviors. These representations in turn can be virtually perturbed, allowing for hypothesis testing at the speed of computation. The resulting acceleration in biological and perturbational hypothesis testing powers faster discovery of potent new medicines with greater breadth across the range of diseases.