July 1, 1993
Dr. Corwin Hansch, Professor Emeritus at Pomona College in California, and Dr. Albert Leo, Adjunct Professor at that institution, have formed a company to develop and support computer software which can be of use in the design of pharmaceuticals and pesticides as well as in the study of environmental toxicology. Dr. Hansch will act as Chairman of the Board and Dr. Leo as President. For over two decades Hansch and Leo have carried on bio-design research operating as the Pomona College Medicinal Chemistry Project, and the Project's software has been successfully employed on a world-wide basis.
Five years ago the software licensing portion of the Project was assigned to the Daylight Chemical Information Services, co-founded by Mr. Yosi Taitz and Dr. David Weininger who played a major role in developing the Medchem software. Daylight CIS has concentrated on incorporating Medchem software as part of a UNIX based toolkit, appealing to chemists using molecular graphics on the new powerful workstations. Daylight CIS will continue to serve that market with Medchem software as it has in the past.
The BioByte Corp. will focus on a few well-defined goals. Some VAX/VMS users of the original Medchem software have no plans to switch to UNIX, and they are eager for new developments (especially in parameter prediction) that could be made most easily based on the original VMS code.
Furthermore, the culmination of decades of effort by Dr. Hansch--to offer a user-friendly program to create Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSARs) by regression analysis and validate them against a substantial database of established equations (initially 6,000) in both physical-organic and biological activities--was more in the nature of an academic undertaking than a commercial one.
It is felt that BioByte will have achieved its goals if the financial returns on the C-QSAR programs are sufficient to maintain the research effort needed to expand its database and to increase the understanding the fundamentals of drug and pesticide design. BioByte will rely heavily on the efforts of Mr. David Hoekman, the computer systems manager for the new firm.