Cyclica Awarded $1.8M Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Discover Non-Hormonal Contraceptive
What You Should Know:
– Cyclica Inc., a neo-biotech that is exploring the entire protein universe to advance a robust and sustainable drug discovery portfolio, has received a $2.4M CAD ($1.8M USD) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop new, non-hormonal contraceptives for low-data biological protein targets.
– The grant enables Cyclica to apply its validated, AI-enabled drug discovery platform towards the discovery of expanded contraceptive options that can give women and girls the ability to better plan their families and their futures.
AI-enabled Drug Discovery Platform Discovering New Therapeutic Options For Multiple Low-Data Targets
As a neo-biotech, Cyclica is efficiently advancing an industry-leading, robust and sustainable drug discovery portfolio focused on CNS, oncology, and auto-immune diseases. Cyclica has built the only generalizable platform across the entire proteome, expanding the target space for low-data targets, including AlphaFold2 structures, PPIs, and mutant oncogenic targets. Cyclica has brought together a diverse and experienced team of biologists, chemists, computer scientists, and business professionals who are collectively passionate about changing the drug discovery paradigm. By exploring the unexplored, and drugging the undrugged, Cyclica strives to impact patient health like never before.
Gender equality is one of several core areas of focus of the foundation. To that end, the Gates Foundation is working to empower women and girls to take charge of their own health, enabling them to make informed decisions about family planning and have access to contraceptive options that meet their needs. Historically, hormone-based contraceptives are known to cause wide-ranging side effects that reduce their appeal in these countries. A widely available non-hormonal contraceptive would provide an additional safe, effective choice for women and girls looking to take charge of their reproductive health.
To date, research on discovering non-hormonal contraceptive agents has been hindered by a dearth of validated and enabled drug targets. While there are a small set of targets with sufficient supporting biological data and technical feasibility to warrant substantial investment, there are a set of less mature and emerging targets where the availability of new chemical starting points would enable novel robust target assessment and biological investigation. Here, Cyclica aims to have a dramatic impact since its platform is optimized for drug discovery against low-data drug targets.