Neuromedicine breakthrough with Harvard University

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A research team led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has found a shortcut for developing new drugs which can potentially reduce time and costs by sorting out high potential candidates out of a long list of chemical compounds, with an accuracy of around 50%.

This breakthrough in neuropharmacology came following five years of collaborated research by CityU’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS), and Harvard Medical School. The research is published in the scientific journal Nature Communications and titled “High-throughput Brain Activity Mapping and Machine Learning as a Foundation for Systems Neuropharmacology”.

Period18 Mar 2019

Media coverage

TitleNeuromedicine breakthrough with Harvard University
DescriptionA research team led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU), has found a shortcut for developing new drugs which can potentially reduce time and costs by sorting out high potential candidates out of a long list of chemical compounds, with an accuracy of around 50%.

The research, led by Dr Shi Peng, Associate Professor of Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), provides a platform to predict compounds that have the potential to be developed into new drugs to treat brain diseases. It can help speed up the new drug discovery process and save costs.

The team first built a reference library of brain activity maps for 179 existing CNS drugs. They generated the maps from the brains of thousands of zebrafish larvae, each treated with a clinically used CNS drug. The maps showed the corresponding brain regions that reacted to those drugs. The team then classified these drugs into 10 physiological clusters based on the intrinsic coherence among the maps by machine learning algorithms.

With the reference library in hand and in close collaboration with Dr Wang Xin, Assistant Professor of Department of Biomedical Sciences (BMS) at CityU, and Dr Stephen Haggarty, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, the team went on to carry out information analysis and employed machine learning strategy to predict the therapeutic potential of 121 new compounds.
Persons
Media name/outletCityU NewsCentre
PlaceHong Kong
Media typeWeb
Date18/03/19
Linkhttps://newscentre.cityu.edu.hk/media/news/2019/03/18/neuromedicine-breakthrough-harvard-university