While the Predix drug discovery process is widely applicable to
numerous indications associated with GPCRs, the company is initially
dedicated to developing therapeutics for indications that represent
great unmet medical needs for psychiatric disorders (e.g. anxiety/depression
and memory dysfunction), pain, and inflammatory diseases (e.g. asthma,
and the Need for Novel Anti-Arrhythmic Agents
also been focused on modeling the physiology and pharmacology of
cardiac ion channels to develop compounds for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmia.
At the present time, patients with ventricular arrhythmias are
treated palliatively with implantation of electrical devices
called implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), which deliver
electrical shocks to the heart during episodes of arrhythmia. Patients
may also be treated with medications such as Cordarone (amiodarone)
or Sotacor (Betapace, sotalol) which act to suppress the occurrence
of such arrhythmias. These treatments are highly inadequate (based
on the continued high death rate), expensive (ICDs can run into
tens of thousands of dollars), and have significant drug-related
side effects. Therefore, the development of novel anti-arrhythmic
agents is a critical unmet medical need, but poses substantial difficulties
in development since the control of dynamic events is poorly understood
in biology, generally, leading many large pharmaceutical companies
to "wait and see" what new approaches emerge.
It is estimated that 295,000
people die in the United States yearly from sudden cardiac death linked to ventricular arrhythmia.
Cost estimates for pharmaceuticals to treat ventricular arrhythmia
approach US $350 million worldwide, approximately US $160 million
of which is attributable to the U.S. market.
In 1999, worldwide sales of pharmaceuticals to treat arrhythmias (primarily atrial)
were approximately US$1.1 billion. The largest class in antiarrhythmic
drug sales are Class I drugs (1999 sales of US$303 million) which
block sodium channels in cardiac cells. Class I drug examples are
Rhythmol, Tambocor and Quinaglute. Class II drugs (US$133 million)
consist of beta blockers such as Inderol. Class III drugs (US$281
million) are potassium-channel blockers such as Cordarone and Betapace.
Class IV drugs (US$255 million) are calcium-channel blockers such