In the collaboration, Sun committed a 200 processor SUN TCF (Technical Compute Farm) on which RiboTargets has been running its unique virtual screening software RiboDock.
The software is designed to screen huge numbers of molecules in silico, prior to the best candidate compounds being selected for laboratory study.
Using in excess of 400,000 processor hours on the SUN compute farm, RiboTargets was able to apply RiboDock to the bacterial ribosome, one of the most significant targets for antibacterial research.
In total, Ribotargets has now screened over two thirds of the 30S ribosomal subunit against 20 million compounds in aggregate.
A subset of the leads was identified as in silico hits and selected for laboratory evaluation.
An initial analysis of the 0.5 Terabytes of data generated by RiboDock and in vitro assays has already given rise to the discovery of novel ribosomal inhibitors with antibacterial activity.
This is the largest docking effort reported so far.
“Sun is leading the way in developing technology that enables R&D within the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sectors. It is extremely rewarding and exciting to be working with the scientists and developers at RiboTargets who are leveraging our technology in a manner that may truly impact drug discovery.” said Dirk Heyman, Global head of Life Sciences for Sun.
“Combining massive computational power and more traditional laboratory based technology, this collaborative effort corresponds to a major breakthrough that is likely to revolutionize the discovery of antibiotics in this decade.” said Mohammad Afshar, PhD, Head of Drug Design and Director of IT at RiboTargets.
RiboTargets is a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge that focuses on the use of structure based and computational technologies to discover medicines in the anti-infective and oncology arena.