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Rapidly Onboarding New Users to the Cloud – InterAx Biotech

Learn how YellowDog helped InterAx Biotech Ltd. get set up in the cloud within 7 hours of face-to-face consultations, to access on-demand high performance computing and accelerate its virtual screening process.
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InterAx is a Swiss biotech spin-off of the ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The company uses a unique combination of experimental pharmacology, mathematical modelling, and artificial intelligence. This enables it to precisely guide the design of new drugs with desired cell biology effects, resulting in drug candidates with higher therapeutic efficacy and lower unexpected physiological responses. The company is focused on designing drugs that target G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCR), which are the largest class of human cellular receptors and the target of 40% of all marketed medicines. The ultimate goal of InterAx is to become the world-leader in the discovery of the next generation of GPCR medicine for high, unmet medical needs.

InterAx is applying its capabilities on drug discovery programs internally and with partners. A first-in-class molecular entity, targeting a novel mechanism of action for cancer is currently in preclinical testing. The drug candidate is displaying the ability to block the mechanism that causes tumour growth and metastasis.

Learn how YellowDog’s cloud workload management platform helped InterAx overcome some of the barriers associated with using the cloud, to accelerate its virtual screening process with ease.

Making HPC Accessible to All

High performance computing (HPC) has long facilitated the advancement of vital research, from genomic sequencing to nuclear stewardship, to aerodynamic modelling. To process these complex calculations, organisations must aggregate and orchestrate hundreds, if not thousands, of processors simultaneously.

Often, HPC comes in the form of large supercomputers built on the premises of long-standing research institutes or global organisations. More recently, the impressive computing clusters have been built using the cloud, with teams of engineers dedicated to maintaining the deployments.

Both options present a significant investment in either capital or human resources. However, there is another method. One that neither requires the construction of an expensive HPC cluster or considerable outlay in internal expertise.

It was this third option that the dynamic start-up, InterAx chose. By using YellowDog’s cloud workload management solution, it could access the scalability it needed on demand and turn its attention to what mattered most: discovering new drugs.

Presenting New Possibilities

There were three key deliverables for this project. InterAx wanted:

  1. To accelerate its virtual screening process, with access to on-demand supercomputer performance.
  2. A solution that is easy to use, with a simple onboarding process that meant they could get started as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
  3. A solution that is flexible, scalable and cost efficient to meet the increasing, but not constant, overall computing needs.

With a two-week trial period, InterAx had the ability to ensure these requirements would be met and evaluate the suitability of the YellowDog Platform for virtual screening.

Simple Onboarding to Deliver Rapid Results

To deliver the project, the team worked in an agile fashion. InterAx had straightforward access to the support team and a forum to raise any queries.

From the two-week trial period, InterAx was satisfied that its key deliverables had been met. The company was:

  • Able to successfully run existing virtual screening scripts at rapid scale.
  • Completely set up on the YellowDog Platform within 7 hours of face-to-face consultations.

The speed with which YellowDog onboarded InterAx has huge implications for what the business can achieve. The company now has easy and on-demand access to high performance computing in the cloud, enabling it to deliver not only its standard virtual screening process, but also more complex projects.

This presents a whole new realm of possibility for the organisation, as it looks for ways to use technology to improve drug discovery.

“Working with the YellowDog team couldn’t have been easier. Being able to collaborate and solve problems collectively made a real difference. It was really straightforward to contact YellowDog and get the answers we needed quickly. We are really excited by the potential of this partnership, to see how we can push our methodology with valuable support from YellowDog.”

Yaroslav Nikolaev, Head of Computational Science, InterAx Biotech

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