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Oscar Rey (CMO), Enric Gibert (CEO) and Enric Herrero (CTO) of Pharmacelera (Photo: Parc Científic de Barcelona).

Pharmacelera, focused on disruptive solutions for Computer -Aided Drug Design, settles in Barcelona Science Park

Pharmacelera, a company that develops and applies accurate Quantum-Mechanics (QM) algorithms, Machine Learning (ML) models and High-Performance Computing (HPC) in drug discovery, joins the Barcelona Science Park. With the establishment of its new headquarters, the company wants to accelerate its business project, which aims to improve pharmaceutical R&D productivity by using its proprietary technology to explore a larger and more diverse chemical space and find hitherto unexplored candidate molecules.

Pharmacelera is an innovative deep tech company that develops and provides disruptive solutions and services for Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD). Its mission is to improve pharmaceutical R&D productivity through advanced computational methodologies in early stages of drug discovery to feed later stages (which are long and expensive and where most projects fail) with candidate molecules with higher chances to succeed.

The company has developed and patented a unique CADD platform to perform an accurate and intelligent screening of libraries containing millions of compounds in order to identify new molecular candidates, still unexploited by existing technologies.

Pharmacelera provides access to its platform and computational chemistry services to organizations working on small molecules in the hit finding, hit-to-head (H2L) and lead optimization (LO) phases.

The company is formed by a cross-disciplinary team of professionals, headed by Enric Gibert, IESE PDD (CEO); Enric Herrero, PhD in Computer Engineering from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (CTO); Javier Luque, professor at the University of Barcelona (CSO); and Oscar Rey, PhD in Computational Chemistry from Ramon Llull University (CMO).The promoter team is supported by an international Advisory Board with highlight experience in drug development.

“Our customers include R&D departments of pharmaceutical companies, Contract Research Organizations (CRO), public research institutions and small biotech companies. Now, with the establishment of our headquarters in the Barcelona Science Park, we want to accelerate our business strategy and increase our interaction with the Catalan and Spanish research ecosystem”, says Enric Gibert, co-founder and Pharmacelera’s CEO.

“We operate in a global world, but our priority geographic areas are Western Europe and the United States, where we already have several success stories with 2 of the top 10 pharmas and several biotech companies. In fact, 95% of our clients are from outside Spain”, says Oscar Rey, Pharmacelera’s CMO.

Mining an unexpected chemical space

Pharmacelera’s CADD technology – based on accurate Quantum-Mechanics (QM) algorithms, Machine Learning (ML) models and High-Performance Computing (HPC) – allows massive searches in virtual libraries of millions of compounds and select candidate molecules with larger chemical diversity and the desired physico-chemical properties.

“Our standalone tools, PharmScreen® and PharmQSAR, use a unique and superior 3D representation of molecules, describing with high accuracy the factors that determine ligand / receptor interactions. Different retrospective studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals showing the superiority of our tools compared to existing methodologies, and the several success stories occurred through its application in different drug discovery projects with our customers confirm the benefits of our proprietary technology”, says Francisco Javier Luque, co-founder and Pharmacelera’s CSO.

“Our benchmarked technology explores a larger, richer and more diverse chemical space and it identifies candidate molecules that other methodologies are unable to find. This allows the development of new therapies for unmet medical needs”, says Enric Herrero, co-founder and CTO of Pharmacelera’s CTO.

» For further information: Pharmacelera website [+]