Digital filter aids data driven drug discovery

Drugs could move to clinical trials more quickly with a new digital filter from Purdue University that helps to create more exact measurements early in the development stage.

digital filter

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, it can take 10 to 15 years or longer to move a drug from discovery to market.

Pharmaceutical companies inform their financial and scientific decision making with the outcomes of chemical and biological analyses, and slight measurement variations can potentially add risk and uncertainty in these decisions.

Garth Simpson, a professor of analytical and physical chemistry in Purdue’s College of Science, created the filter as part of his work with the Merck-Purdue Center for Measurement Science. The technology is published in Analytical Chemistry.

“Our latest development is this novel filter design for digital deconvolution that helps us remove timing artifacts arising from the response function of the instrument we are using for data acquisition,” Simpson said.

In a statement, Simpson said any practical measurement of an event, including those used for drug discovery, is always a combination of the event itself and the response of the measuring instrument. He said most algorithms used to correct for the response function of the instrument require a great deal of knowledge about the instrument itself.

“Our digital filter approach only requires that a user have the data,” Simpson said. “Our filter and algorithm then use non-negative matrix factorisation over short sections of data to allow the analysis of data sets that are too large to be characterised by other conventional approaches.”

According to Purdue, the filter uses mathematical formulas to analyse and organise the data, which sometimes contains millions of individual data points, into useable sets for researchers and drug developers.

Simpson said the Purdue filter can be used for measurements in microscopy, chromatography and triboluminescence, all of which are used in the early stages of drug development to determine which molecules show the greatest potential to move ahead to clinical trials.

Simpson has worked with the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialisation to patent his measurement science technologies. His research team is looking for additional researchers and partners to license the technologies.