HTuO Biosciences


Designing the future of molecules

image@ronymichaud

“Out of 66 clinical candidates, published by the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry in the 2016–2017 period, none originated as a virtual screening hit. It is a fact that predicting binding affinities is terribly difficult, and one of the main compounding factors is the solvent’s effect.”

- Defelipe et al., Solvents to Fragments to Drugs: MD Applications in Drug Design, Molecules 2018, 23, 3269


HTuO Biosciences was founded in Vancouver, Canada in September 2020, based on a novel molecular model designed to significantly improve the accuracy of inter-molecular predictions. Our goal is to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry by changing the way small molecules are designed and optimized.

Our name, HTuO, was inspired by water. Despite being one of the simplest molecules, water also displays some of the most complex behaviours - making it a touch point in molecular modeling. We know that water plays an important role in binding, and we believe that building better models starts with understanding water.

As we work to build better models, our vision doesn't end with water. Our goal is make it possible to work with difficult targets, where water can't be ignored - and where molecular modeling has failed to perform.

Technology


Of the hundreds of thousands of proteins in the human body, encoded by the twenty-thousand genes in the human genome, only 754 of them have ever been successfully targeted by FDA approved drugs.

Druggable proteins are defined as those with deep clefts or pockets, into which you can insert a small molecule drug, displacing water. Undruggable proteins, however, have shallow clefts or lack clefts entirely, which means that drugs that bind will do so in the presence of water - and the design process for molecules to disrupt their behaviour must take water into account.

Thus, in order to drug the undruggable, you need to be able to understand and predict the forces at work with higher accuracy than is currently possible with available tools. It means understanding the interactions not just between the drug and the target, but the drug and the solvent to which it is exposed, and to be able to predict - with high accuracy - how those interactions will play out.


Focus on Accuracy

At HTuO, we believe the best way to make better drugs is to build tools that allow us to understand the interactions between drugs and proteins more accurately. That means investing the time and energy into getting it right - at every step.

Where other companies are designing ways to screen compounds faster (eg. Docking), we're looking for ways to make compounds better. To find the right drug, you need to know how to measure that fit accurately - and that's where we stand out.


Value of Accuracy

Our platform is based on improving the physics behind molecular interactions, stemming from our proprietary atomic models and custom force field. By taking the time to get the details right, our platform will allow us to simulate many of the emergent properties of molecules. That means that, instead of searching ever-larger collections of drugs for those that might work, we can focus on optimizing existing targets to find new molecules that will bind even better - and to build a better suite of tools that will allow us to find the proverbial needles hiding in the haystack that our competitors will miss.

Understanding binding accurately from the start will mean spending less time optimizing candidate molecules, and less money testing them in the lab. It also means we can unlock binding on surfaces that would otherwise be impossible with lower accuracy tools - making it possible to target key proteins that others would consider undruggable.


Now is the Time

Nearly all existing force field descriptions of interactions between atoms descend from models that were initially designed in the 1970's and 1980s, where the physics was over-simplified to run on contemporary computers. With current computer chips running over 100,000x times faster, we now have the computational power to focus on accuracy, and not just on speed.


Demonstration

The demonstration simulation below, run entirely in our prototype software, shows a glimpse of what we're working on. Where most systems are unable to represent changing pH, or break bonds, ours seamlessly bakes it into the core technology.

Our company's name is derived from the importance of understanding water, as nearly all things in the realm of biology happen in water solutions. Here, we demonstrate what happens when we simulate an acid and a base in water - and the subsequent interactions that take place.

Upcoming Events


No public events currently planned.

If you’d like to schedule HTuO to present at an event, please contact info@htuobio.com.

Latest News


Nov 4th, 2021

Participated in the Valhalla Investors Summit BC Final, presenting as one of the top five companies

Nov 3rd, 2021

Presented at the 2021 LSBC Invest in BC event, sponsored by Lumira Ventures.

Team


Dr. Anthony Fejes

Co-Founder and CEO

Alex Shynkarenko

Co-Founder and CTO



Dr. Yi-Hsuan Lin

Molecular Modeling Lead


Emily Wilson

Scientist - Molecular Modeling, Development


Join us!

Scientist - Computational Chemistry


Join us!

Scientist - Molecular Modeling


Career


We are rapidly growing and looking for bold and creative people to join our team.

Let's Connect!


We are literally a "basement startup" and welcome to any comments or thoughts about investment and collaboration.