Cyclica Inc. is awarded access to IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer to repurpose FDA approved drugs

TORONTO, Canada – July 2, 2013 – Cyclica Inc. has been awarded access to IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer to optimize drug discovery and development using existing drugs that have been identified as having repurposing potential. The project will leverage Cyclica’s data platform, as well as some simulation software packages developed by Modecular. Cyclica’s co-founder, Mickaël Krzeminski, will lead the project entitled Multi-scale characterization of protein-drug interaction networks for the FDA’s Rare Disease Repurposing Database (RDRD) using chemical systems biology and molecular dynamics methodologies. Such multi-scale repurposing studies have never been conducted using the proprietary methods developed by Cyclica Inc. This project will use next generation technology with a Big Data platform that includes biologically relevant proteomics data and is expected to identify drug repurposing opportunities that would otherwise be missed. A secondary objective of the project is to create enhanced, information rich systems pharmacology databases.

Intellectual property that arises during the course of the project will be jointly owned by the parties involved. Repurposed compounds with “high therapeutic potential” identified and characterized in the study will be patented and then licensed or sold for development by pharmaceutical companies.

The SOSCIP program will provide resources to accommodate data generated by the project, which is estimated to reach hundreds of Terabytes. Such resources include access to Blue Gene/Q, recently announced as the fastest supercomputer in Canada[1], a computing platform designed for massive parallel processing and grand challenge computational science to enable rapid prototyping and modeling. They also include a platform that combines cloud computing with advanced analytics software to support a variety of Big Data applications, including rapid prototyping and experimental modeling. Potential application areas include: event-driven near real time decision support, high volume data analysis and/or modeling, disaster response systems, and health care treatment and outcome analysis.

“Having access to IBM’s Blue Gene adds significant value for all of our stakeholders and allows us to more quickly realize our ambitious innovation mandate. It also gives us an opportunity to enhance the capabilities of our technology for our existing clients and partners.” said Jason Mitakidis.

About Cyclica

Founded in 2010, Cyclica is a pioneer in the development of next generation in silico discovery and testing technologies that leverage integrated biological data to improve pharma R&D productivity. The company is commercializing the Ligand Explorer™ to address the rising cost of R&D in drug discovery and low regulatory approval rates of pre-market pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products. Using cloud computing, Cyclica’s powerful Ligand Explorer™ platform reduces the failure risk of drug discovery projects by allowing clients to anticipate a drug candidate’s side effects prior to clinical trials, thereby enabling more informed R&D investment decisions. Furthermore, the technology allows researchers to overcome expensive project hurdles with data-guided Intelligent Molecular Redesign™. Since incorporation, Cyclica has formed key industry and academic collaborations, developed a unique intellectual property portfolio, and established an affiliation with the MaRS Discovery District, Canada’s largest medical sciences and technology incubator.

For more information, please visit:


Jason Mitakidis
President and CEO
Cyclica Inc.
+1 416-906-5454

About IBM BlueGene/Q

  • Offers scalable HPC power for complex, general-purpose science applications
  • Delivers high bandwidth, low latency performance for data-intensive applications
  • Helps reduce TCO, with lower energy consumption and a smaller footprint

The Blue Gene family of supercomputers delivers ultra-scale performance within a standard programming environment while delivering efficiencies in power, cooling, and floor-space consumption. Blue Gene’s speed and expandability have enabled business and science to address a wide range of complex problems and make more informed decisions. Blue Gene systems have helped map the human genome, investigated medical therapies, safeguarded nuclear arsenals, simulated radioactive decay, replicated brain power, flown airplanes, pinpointed tumors, predicted climate trends, and identified fossil fuels.

For more information, please visit the IBM solutions site:


The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) is a research consortium established in April 2012. The consortium pairs academic and industry researchers with high performance computing to analyze big data and fuel innovation leadership in Canada within agile computing, health, water, energy and cities.  The consortium members include the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre as well as seven Ontario universities, led by University of Toronto and Western University. Other participants include McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa, and University of Waterloo.

For more information about SOSCIP visit:

Recent Posts