SHARES in DeepMatter have surged around 30 per cent after a pharmaceuticals giant signalled confidence in the potential of its digital chemistry technology.

Glasgow-based DeepMatter has launched a collaboration with AstraZeneca to look at ways of harnessing its Digital Glassware system to speed up the drug development process.

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DigitalGlassware can be used to store huge amounts of information online about compounds produced in experiments and the conditions under which tests were completed.

DeepMatter reckons it could play an important role in helping chemists to develop innovative products by making the processes involved in the discovery of molecules more cost effective.

AstraZeneca said it had entered the collaboration in support of efforts to transform drug design through the use of innovative technologies in combination with automation and artificial intelligence.

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“To get potential new medicines to patients faster, we need to reduce the cycle time for lead identification and optimisation and look forward to working with DeepMatter to assess the potential of DigitalGlassware™ to help with this,” said Michael Kossenjans, Associate Director, Discovery Sciences, R&D, AstraZeneca.

DeepMatter chief executive Mark Warne described the collaboration with AstraZeneca as exciting.

“We’ve been impressed with the automated chemistry platforms developed at AstraZeneca sites for autonomous delivery of new lead series,” he noted: “We see an opportunity to draw together knowledge from the DigitalGlassware platform to enable machine learning and AI technologies to increase the certainty of producing a high quality and choice of candidate drug molecules.”

DeepMatter has 21 staff in Glasgow. The number is expeccted to rise in coming months. Shares in the Aim market-listed firm closed up 0.6p at 2.65p.