Turbine and Harmonic Discovery Pair Simulation-Guided Biology and Multi-Target Kinase Inhibition Chemistry Expertise to Develop a Novel Cancer Therapy

01 April 2024

Turbine, a company that is building the world’s first predictive simulation of patient biology, and Harmonic Discovery (Harmonic), a therapeutics company building an integrated computational and experimental platform for kinase drug discovery and targeted polypharmacology, have entered into a collaboration to co-develop novel cancer therapies that will inhibit a dark kinase identified for cancer dependency using Turbine’s Simulated Cell™ platform.

“We believe that the dark kinase NEK1 holds great potential as a drug target for developing cancer therapies addressing important resistance challenges in the clinic,” said Dániel Veres, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Turbine. “Coupling Harmonic’s deep expertise in multi-specific kinase-targeted drug design with our unique ability to guide drug discovery by running simulated experiments with causal interpretation in a vast biological search space will help realize a more innovative and efficient process than traditional approaches. We are excited for the opportunity to demonstrate the power of our platforms to collectively boost R&D success in the clinic.”

“Our fully integrated kinase drug discovery platform aims to challenge current drug discovery paradigms by building a machine learning-first infrastructure that integrates multiple aspects of kinase drug discovery,” said Rayees Rahman, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Harmonic Discovery. “Turbine’s exciting biological simulation technology is highly complementary to our approach. We are confident that integrating both companies’ innovative platforms will yield a radically more effective approach to selecting and advancing kinase-targeted therapies that can substantially improve patient outcomes in oncology.”

The collaboration provides a framework in which biological and mechanistic insights from Turbine’s simulations will directly inform Harmonic’s generative chemistry models – with the goal of bringing forward new, differentiated, and effective kinase inhibitor therapies for the patients who need them most. Harmonic will assume responsibilities for computational chemistry and medicinal chemistry activities, while Turbine will be responsible for in silico simulations and wet-lab validation of target biology, including the identification of both synergistic kinase co-targets to NEK1 and patient populations most likely to benefit from therapies. Financial terms of the collaboration are not disclosed.

About Turbine

Countless resources and time get expended globally to research and advance novel therapies that end in clinical failure and no patient benefit. Imagine a world where it is possible to predict any potential drug’s effect on translatable biological models – including those that may not even be available for lab-based testing – while accurately representing patient biology. Turbine is revolutionizing the status quo by working to ensure that we always run the right wet lab experiments.

With machine learning that understands the logic by which human cells make decisions, Turbine has built the world’s first predictive simulation of patient biology. The Simulated Cell™ platform models the protein signaling that decides cell fate and facilitates in silico experiments at scales that are impossible in the physical world, to empower the biopharma industry by guiding experiments that identify and confirm disease driving mechanisms.

Turbine’s platform is being validated through past and ongoing collaborations with leading pharma companies such as AstraZeneca, Ono Pharmaceutical, Cancer Research Horizons, and Bayer. In addition, Turbine has received funding from industry leaders such as MSD (Merck & Co, Inc. Rahway NJ, USA) Global Health Innovation Fund, Accel, and MassMutual Ventures, among others.

For more information, visit www.turbine.ai or follow Turbine on LinkedIn.

About Harmonic Discovery

Harmonic Discovery (the “Company”) is a precision pharmacology company applying its generative chemistry platform to advance next-generation kinase inhibitors. The Company’s platform is trained on multiple layers of proprietary data and is integrated with domain expertise to design safer and more efficacious kinase therapeutics.

The Company’s lead programs are focused on malignant hematology indications, with exploratory discovery efforts in additional therapeutic areas including immuno-oncology, immunology and inflammation. The Company has raised $8 million in Seed Financing to date from Innovation Endeavors, Fifty Years, Y Combinator and other select investment firms. The Company was founded in 2021 and is headquartered at Johnson & Johnson’s JLABS (“JLABS@NYC”) in New York City, New York.

To learn more, visit https://www.harmonicdiscovery.com/

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Head of Lab Csilla Laczka, PhD, DSc and Co-Founder, Translational Scientist Iván Fekete M.D. will present our poster about a novel drug target and its mechanism of action at European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) Congress in Rotterdam, from June 10.
Read our poster for EACR 2024! - The Simulated Cell™ identifies LIG4 as a novel target in PARPi resistance via the modulation of NHEJ deficiency