HPC enables discovery of new blood pressure drug

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Also at the new HPCwire today, news that U of Florida researchers used HPC to find a new drug that lowers blood pressure and prevents heart and kidney damage, at least in rats. More research in humans coming.

Researchers used one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to process 140,000 prospective drug compounds in a matter of weeks. The computer predicted which molecules would be most likely to enhance the activity of ACE2, rotating them in thousands of different orientations to see how they would bind to certain pockets on the enzyme’s surface.

…After hitting on the “lead” compound, UF researchers then tested it in hypertensive rats that had developed fibrosis of the heart and kidney. The animals received the drug for two weeks. Tissue samples from treated animals revealed a significant decrease in fibrosis of the heart, kidney and blood vessels, said Ostrov, who described the findings as “striking and reproducible.”

And the good news on this one keeps coming, apparently

…Early results also show the compound inhibits inflammation, which has significant implications for a number of human diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis as well as other diseases involving fibrosis, such as Alzheimer’s, Ostrov said.

As the old SNL sketch goes, “it’s a non-dairy whipped topping AND a floor wax.” Anyway, good stuff.


  1. Thanks for the interesting article.