Frequenty Asked Questions

These are some of the most common queries we have been receiving. We hope they are helpful to you! If not, or you have any other questions you might want to ask us please, contact us!

  • The company I work for develops new products in the pharmaceutical / phytosanitary / functional ingredients sector. What kind of advantages can we benefit from using the services from Talentum Biotech?

The computation techniques we are experts in at Talentum Biotech are complementary, but not a full substitutive, of laboratory essays to identify novel bioactive compounds, reducing costs and development time of such products in by an important amount.

  • If the services from Talentum Biotech cannot completely substitute laboratory experimentation, how can you help me to reduce development costs?

The development of new products is usually associated with important laboratory workloads due to the need of finding the best bioactive compound, and this implies high costs and development time.

On the other hand, the amount of computational power available at low costs is continually growing, as is the theoretical knowledge of fundamental chemistry. These two factors make it possible to build computational models that describe and simulate the processes that happen in the aforementioned laboratory essays with a reasonable degree of approximation.

Thanks to these models and simulations, it is possible to run computational simulations which enable us to make a preliminary screening of the candidate chemical compounds to be tested, effectively ranking them in terms of their predicted activity in the computer simulations. In this way, prior to the laboratory essays we have a clear idea of which of the candidates are the most promising ones, being able not only to prioritize these essays, but also relegating or even completely discarding those for which the worst activities were predicted in the simulations. This results in an effective way to reduce the number of candidates which have to be tested, one one side, reducing the provisioning, storage and handling costs, and on the other, the experimentation time needed to identify novel bioactive compounds.

  • Which warranties do I have that virtual screening is going to yield satisfactory results?

There is the same level of warranties that there is in traditional laboratory screenings: none. Even in laboratory testing, errors may happen that drive to discarding relevant compounds, or to preselect candidates that in subsequent test do not show any activity at all. It may even just happen that in the screened library there are no candidates with the required activity.As virtual screening is not a total substitutive for laboratory experimentation, in the case a “false positive” is detected, this should be detected at a later stage in laboratory experimentation, and the candidate should be discarded without further problems.The case of a “false negative” is more problematic, since the candidate might not be selected for laboratory testing. In the worst case, this might be palliated by increasing the range of candidates tested in the laboratory screening, eventually screening the full candidate library if no suitable compounds are previously found.However, in most cases virtual screening is able to successfully detect relevant candidates, indeed resulting in important time and cost savings, and therefore, most of the users consider that the potential benefits of virtual screening largely compensate for the risk of a “false negative” happening.

  • All this information is quite interesting, but it is provided by a company whose intention is to sell their services. Are there other sources that support the benefits of virtual screening?

Of course. For first, we would like to point you at our portfolio, where we show some cases of previous and ongoing clients of our services.

In second place, we can also mention other facts, none of them is related with us, supporting the virtual screening technology:

  • About the technology itself, the Swedish Academy of Science decided to award the 2013 Nobel Price in Chemistry to the researchers Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt y Arieh Warshel,for their work in “the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems”, which are tightly related to virtual screening.
  • Important companies, especially in the pharmaceuticals business, like Merck, Novartis, or GlaxoSmithKline, make daily use, as well as they promote the development of this technology in their interest of finding and developing novel drugs.
  • If nowadays the usage of virtual screening is peaking, the development of this technology itself and its usage started more than 20 years ago, so that an extensive amount of objective data and statistics about its benefits are available.
  • The services offered by Talentum Biotech seem to be very interesting, but I would like to test them out before reaching a bigger agreement. Is it possible to try the services?

We understand that even today it is difficult to believe that a computer might be capable of successfully calculating such complex things as biochemical interactions between proteins and ligands. But, even small try outs generate some costs for us. As a compromise, we offer some low cost services that allow prospective clients to try our services and evaluate us without making a great investment.

On the other hand, our sales team is at your full disposal both to clear any questions you mught still have, and as well to discuss any custom service you might suggest as a chance to test our service to your full satisfaction. You just need to contact us.

  • I am already convinced of the benefits that the services from Talentum Biotech offer in (i.e.) development of novel drugs. I would like you to find me a novel bioactive compound that cures the disease […]

Actually, it does not work that way. The services we offer constitute only another step in the development of a product. In the same way that our services do not substitute laboratory tests, they do neither substitute basic research, and for us to be able to do our work it is essential to provide us with some information, i.e., in the case of a virtual screening, which protein (or proteins) would need to be deactivated to cure the disease, which library of candidate ligands should be screened, or, in the case of a search for analogues, instead of a protein, a bioactive compound to be used as starting point to find other compounds with similar properties.

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