November 26, 2017
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AHA partners to use supercomputers to accelerate drug discovery

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The American Heart Association and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are partnering to address the burden of drug discovery, cost and access, according to a press release.

This collaboration is part of the AHA’s Center for Accelerated Drug Discovery. Through this partnership, Lawrence Livermore scientists will use a supercomputer and simulated environment to predict how drugs bind to their target proteins. Using this system, the both organizations hope to accelerate development of new and targeted therapies.

“The computing infrastructure at LLNL will enable machine learning and ultimately get safe drugs to the marketplace quicker,” Felice Lightstone, PhD, biochemical and biophysical systems group leader at Lawrence Livermore, said in the release. “By bringing world class, leading edge engineering and high impact biological fields together, we can develop a comprehensive reference atlas of cell-protein targets to accelerate and hone drug discovery.”

The AHA and Lawrence Livermore hope that by using high-performance computing tools this program will be able to reduce time to market by 50% and improve success rates for new treatments, according to the release.

“Some form of cardiovascular disease affects more than one in three adult Americans,” Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA, said in the release. “As part of the American Heart Association’s Center for Accelerated Drug Discovery, we are committed to taking the guesswork out of drug effectiveness by collaborating with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to help patients alleviate not only heart disease, but also suffering for all people managing other chronic conditions.”

Disclosures: Brown is an employee of the AHA. Lightstone is an employee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.