Using Water to Design Medicines

For Client: Ventus Therapeutics

Ventus is on the vanguard of a sea change in drug discovery technology. Through a combination of computational analysis of protein structures (the molecules that drugs target) Ventus can predict the shape of potential binding pockets for drugs with unparalleled accuracy. However it doesn’t stop there—they use predictive software to figure out how water flows over the surface of these molecules, how individual water molecules respond, and then use that data to screen colossal numbers of known molecules to identify drug candidates. Results are confirmed in a wet lab and the data used to improve the model, finding potential therapeutic hits in a fraction of the time taken by conventional approaches.

To drive home how strange and new this approach is, materials evocative of meteorite and precious metals were combined with an environment designed to conjure an alien technology, while more conventional representations of computation and analysis were avoided.