Ramy Farid on the Power of Computation in Drug Discovery

Episode Summary
Harry interviews Ramy Farid, president and CEO of Schrödinger Pharmaceuticals, about the company’s success using chemical simulation software to help drug makers zero in on promising drug candidates—and about its recent IPO, which brought in more than twice as much cash as the company expected.

Episode Notes
Schrödinger makes software that models the physics of atomic-scale interactions to predict the chemical properties of candidate drug molecules, helping its customers speed up drug discovery. A decade ago, Farid tells Harry, the company faced the chicken-and-egg challenge of convincing customers that its computational platform works, so that they would scale up their commitment, so that they could gather evidence it was working. Close collaborations with customers like Nimbus Therapeutics helped it improve the software and surmount that challenge.
“In order to really take it to the next level and make a difference, it was necessary to use the software as customers ourselves,” Farid says. “You get real-time feedback, honest feedback. You can imagine how much we learned from that.”