Merck & XtalPi Collaboration Optimizes Drug Formulations with AI-Powered Techniques

 

Joint study showcases the synergy between experimental expertise and advanced computational methods in drug development.

SHENZHEN, China and DARMSTADT, Germany, April 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Science and technology company Merck KGaA and XtalPi Inc., a pioneering pharmaceutical technology company powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, have jointly published a study that highlights the benefits of combining computational workflows with wet lab experiments to advance drug development.

Traditional methods like milling and micronization, used to address undesirable crystal morphologies, can be disruptive and costly. In contrast, molecular dynamics simulations offer valuable insights for better crystallization experiment designs.

The collaboration between Merck and XtalPi focused on the impact of different polymer additives on the crystal habit of metformin HCl, a diabetes medication. By combining Merck's experimental capabilities with XtalPi's morphology prediction platform, a comprehensive screening approach for crystal morphology engineering was developed. XtalPi's custom-made force fields successfully predicted the influence of polymer additives on metformin HCl's crystal habits. The addition of HPMC led to a transformation from a needle-like to a prismatic morphology, in agreement with experimental observations. The publication demonstrates the potential of merging computational methods and experimental expertise for drug formulation optimization.

Dr. Peiyu Zhang, XtalPi's Chief Scientific Officer, said, "By integrating XtalPi's molecular dynamics predictions with Merck's experimental validation, we have taken a step towards the rational engineering of desirable crystal habits. We hope to continue improving this 'dry + wet lab' method with leading industry experts like Merck, in the production of novel therapeutics worldwide."

Dr. Jan Gerit Brandenburg, Head of Digital Chemistry at Merck, added, "Our collaboration with XtalPi is transforming pharmaceutical development. By seamlessly incorporating computer simulations with our experimental formulation expertise in a 'digital-first' approach, we are boosting drug development processes and positively impacting patients' lives."

About Merck

Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. More than 64,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people's lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2022, Merck generated sales of € 22.2 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck's technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare, and EMD Electronics in electronics.

About XtalPi

XtalPi is a quantum physics and AI-powered pharmaceutical technology platform that provides integrated drug discovery solutions for global pharmaceutical companies. XtalPi has pioneered a new model for drug R&D that leverages a tightly interwoven trifecta of AI, autonomous labs, and expert domain knowledge. The company applies this three-pronged approach in its R&D platform to accelerate the drug discovery and development process and address unmet needs for patients worldwide.

CONTACT: 

Ruyu Wang
ruyu.wang@xtalpi.com

 

 

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SOURCE XtalPi Inc.

 

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