Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like an Algorithm
It’s all too common for cancer patients to hear their doctors tell them they are no longer responding to their current treatment. Cancer cells have a knack for figuring out ways to mutate and evolve to evade the effects of drugs. Currently, the pharmaceutical industry responds reactively — changing drug cocktails and treatment paths only after drug resistance has occurred. But what if there was a way to counter resistance before a single drop of medicine is administered?
Bruce Donald, PhD, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and professor in biochemistry, and colleagues developed RESISTOR, an algorithm that uses protein structure-based computational design to predict how mutations in an enzyme will affect a drug’s efficacy. This technology could provide drug designers with insights to design better, more durable, proactive drugs.