Researchers at Biovista are also using impressive computational power for drug repositioning. Their Clinical Outcome Search Space™ (COSS) technology ranks how relevant clinical outcomes (more than 29,000 of them) might be against all drugs, and against all human molecular targets. It can also analyze the relevance of all drugs against diseases of interest.
“COSS combines experimentally derived data about on- and off-target pharmacology with data from multiple sources about every drug, every indication, and every adverse effect, to generate unique data profiles for every drug, disease, adverse event, or human molecular target,” says Biovista’s president, Aris Persidis, Ph.D. “COSS then compares and ranks the data profiles to determine the most relevant ones, which are then validated experimentally.”
Biovista has already repositioned two drugs for the progressive form of multiple sclerosis (MS), which has had few treatment options. Most MS drugs, for treatment of the relapsing-remitting form of MS, compromise the patients’ immune systems and have significant side effects. Biovista wanted to find non-immunomodulatory drugs that would treat the neurodegeneration that occurs in the progressive form of MS.
COSS found an unknown role of mitochondrial dysfunction in MS, which previously had been thought a purely autoimmune disease. Therefore they used COSS to reposition drugs against mitochondrial—rather than autoimmune—dysfunction, resulting in two drug candidates (BVA-101 and BVA-201) that they then validated as effective in animal models of MS.
“COSS was thus able to help redefine the potential mechanism of the disease, opening up fresh new opportunities for unanticipated therapies,” says Dr. Persidis. “Biovista is currently designing first-in-human studies for its MS program candidates.”