Accelerating the Path to Cures: New Insights on the Application of Advanced Computational Approaches in Drug Development

Developing a new drug in the U.S. costs approximately $2.6 billion over the course of 10-15 years. The chances of success are slim: one in 10,000. How can we improve the efficiency of the drug development process and develop safer and more effective drugs?

Accelerated Path to Cures provides a transformative perspective on the power of combining advanced computational technologies with nonclinical and clinical experimentation to accelerate the path to cures. The complexity of Phase 1-3 clinical trials in drug development requires adaptive and iterative strategies that can be achieved by integrating data, meta-data, and theory at different spatiotemporal scales with procedural and theoretical knowledge.

“We have come a long way since Hippocrates proposed the medicinal value of nutrition and food, yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of massively and dynamically interacting systems that control the balance between health and disease at the individual, personalized level,” said Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera, the book’s editor and Director of the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. “This book illustrates how we can create synthetic patient populations from electronic health records data. The virtual patients carry the attributes of the original patient population and reflect the individual diversity, variation and other individual characteristics that represent a clinical cohort population. The virtual population can be used for in silico clinical trials and is extremely useful in predicting unforeseen drug responses before large-scale clinical testing is initiated.”

This book provides a fresh window on the application of advanced computational technologies from target identification and validation, to computer aided drug discovery, to application of modeling in nonclinical testing, to network analyses for biomarker detection and validation, to the next generation of personalized predictive models of drug response and in silico human clinical trials.

“Computational modeling methods are particularly relevant in precision medicine because they have the potential to provide a detailed understanding of the parameters controlling the molecular and cellular features that are critical for meeting primary endpoints in clinical trials.” Said Dr. Hontecillas, co-director of the NIMML.

Breakthroughs in drug development and precision medicine have the potential to change the experiences of those suffering from a wide range of complex human diseases. Ultimately, these changes will profoundly transform the global drug development landscape forever.

About the Editor:

Josep Bassaganya-Riera has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications in peer-reviewed journals, holds 15 patents, has founded 3 award-winning Companies (Landos Biopharma, BioTherapeutics and Pervida), raising over $65 million in non-dilutive and equity financing rounds, and was recently named 2017 Innovator of the Year by the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. He is a captain of industry, innovator, serial entrepreneur, and thought leader in biotech. Dr. Bassaganya-Riera and his companies have been active participants of a statewide group that supports the planning behind the Governor’s 2015 Virginia Bioscience Initiative and the BioHealth Capital Region. Dr. Bassaganya-Riera was a featured presenter at the Governor’s Forum on Bio and Big Data. He co-founded and leads the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. He applies advanced informatics and computational modeling to accelerate the development of innovative technologies into medicines that are safer and more effective.


The NIMML Institute is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public charity foundation focused on a transdisciplinary, team-science approach to precision medicine at the interface of immunology, inflammation, and metabolism. The NIMML Institute team has led numerous large-scale transdisciplinary projects and is dedicated to solving important societal problems by combining the expertise of immunologists, computational biologists, toxicologists, modelers, translational researchers, and molecular biologists. The Institute is headquartered in Blacksburg, VA. For more information, please visit or contact

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Watch TEDx:Accelerated Path to Cures