Numerate receives NIH funding to discover new anti-arrhythmic treatments


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a small business innovation research (SBIR) Phase I grant to Numerate to boost new drug programme for cardiac arrhythmias.

Numerate is a US-based computational drug design company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) at cloud scale to support small molecule drug discovery.

The project will be carried out by Numerate in collaboration with members of the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Cardiovascular Research Laboratory (CVRL).

The new programme aims at discovering small molecule drug candidates that can meet the need for a new well-tolerated antiarrhythmic therapy to treat and prevent ventricular tachycardias and fibrillation (VT/VF).

Titled ‘Peripherally restricted α2/δ-1 subunit ligands that modulate CaV channel gating as novel anti-arrhythmic drugs’, the study will be led by Numerate Biology vice-president Dr Uwe Klein.

"We are pleased to receive this award from the NIH and thrilled to be working with Dr Karagueuzian and Dr Olcese at the CVRL to build upon their existing work and discover an important new medicine for treatment of life-threatening arrhythmias."

While Klein will work as the principal investigator for the project, UCLA CVRL members Dr Hrayr Karagueuzian and Dr Riccardo Olcese will serve as its co-investigators.

Klein said: “We are pleased to receive this award from the NIH and thrilled to be working with Dr Karagueuzian and Dr Olcese at the CVRL to build upon their existing work and discover an important new medicine for treatment of life-threatening arrhythmias.”

Dr Karagueuzian said that the new funding will expand the scope of their research to manage cardiac arrhythmias with new small molecule drugs that particularly block the arrhythmogenic late inward calcium current without changing other cardiac ionic currents.

Numerate chief scientific officer Dr John Griffin said: “Our AI-based drug discovery platform has the potential to accelerate the rapid discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics and we are looking forward to collaborating with these two renowned cardiac pathobiology experts.”