Hypercube Receives Phase II NIH-STTR Funding
July 5, 2004
Gainesville, FL – Hypercube, Inc. has received word from the National Institutes of Health that its grant application, “Evolutionary Analysis of Proteins Using HyperChem” has been funded. This grant is part of the the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) that jointly funds small business in concert with a research partner. Hypercube’s partner is the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution (FAME), and its President, Dr. Eric Gaucher. The principal Investigator on the grant is Neil S. Ostlund, the President and CEO of Hypercube, Inc. The grant is for Phase II of the STTR program and is funded for two years for a total of $750,000. Earlier, Phase I of the same grant was funded for one year at $100,000. Phase I identified the feasibility of the proposed efforts.
Phase II of the grant is directed at launching a new product, HyperProtein which will support chemical, phylogenomic, and structural analysis of biological systems. HyperProtein will parallel Hypercube’s existing product, HyperChem, but focus on bioinformatics rather than molecular modeling. The grant will specifically allow Hypercube, Inc. and Fame to explore new science and technology in the area of sequence databases, molecular evolution, and phylogenetics, with the objective of ultimately generating an easy-to-use commercial product, HyperProtein. “We are looking forward”, Dr. Ostlund indicated, “to having a product that is much more tailored to the interests of biologists, pharmaceutical chemists, bioinformatics people, and others who are very involved in protein structure and function but who are not wanting to perform traditional molecular modeling calculations. HyperChem and HyperProtein, together out to cover a lot of research space.”
A specific goal of the research is to understand the three-dimensional consequences for protein structure brought about by evolutionary changes. Normal phylogenetics looks only at the primary sequence associated with protein changes from species to species. The research proposed in the grant focuses on extending this analysis to changes in the secondary and tertiary structure of proteins. “For example, can one interpret known evolutionary changes as being associated with areas around the active site or specific areas of the surface”?, asked Dr. Gaucher. “We would like a tool that would allow us to integrate Protein Structure Analysis with our Phylogenomics efforts”.
The HyperProtein product is expected to integrate a number of protein structure capabilities with new bioinformatics tools that focus on bringing a new graphical interface to this area of research. Hypercube, Inc. is know for its easy-to-use software and intends to continue these efforts in a more biologically-oriented area. It is intended that HyperProtein become a shipping product near the end of 2006.
About Hypercube, Inc.
Hypercube is a privately held scientific software company incorporated in 1985 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Its principal offices are now in Gainesville, Florida. Its principal product is HyperChem Professional for Windows. Other products include the Student Edition of HyperChem, HyperChem Lite, a cost subset of HyperChem, and Pocket HyperChem for Pocket PCs.
HyperChem is a registered trademark of Hypercube, Inc. HyperChem Lite and Pocket HyperChem are trademarks of Hypercube, Inc. All other trade and product names mentioned are the service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
About Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution.
FAME is The Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution (FAME) is a public, not-for-profit organization devoted to the discovery and development of new science and technology to understand, diagnose, and treat human disease, and to enhance our understanding of humankind and its place in the cosmos. The Foundation combines research and development in natural history and the physical sciences to meet its mission. In serving its mission, the Foundation is supported by governmental agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), corporations, and private individuals.