Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Cyclica Academic Partnership Program

Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 5:00pm



Cyclica is an AI-based drug discovery company that has developed a structure-based, AI-augmented in silico drug discovery platform. CAPP is an opportunity for academic investigators to apply for in-kind access to Cyclica’s drug development platforms. The program offers two types of awards: 

Ligand Design Award: to generate novel compounds for your target of interest

  • Investigator provides target information (under CDA as appropriate).
  • Ligand Design platform designs novel small molecules against the target with optimized ADMET and physicochemical properties.
  • Cyclica provides chemical structures to the investigator for experimental validation.
  • Award duration depends on project, but typically 6-12 months.
  • Cyclica and Columbia share new IP.

Ligand Express Award: to uncover polypharmacology of your small molecule 

  • Investigator is granted access to Ligand Express platform to screen small molecules against human proteome, with training and support from Cyclica Scientists.
  • Platform generates ranked list of predicted protein interactions.
  • Award duration is three months, with possibility of extension.
  • Columbia retains IP.

Program Benefits:

  • Generates novel compounds for drug development (Ligand Design).
  • Identifies predicted protein interactions for MOA elucidation, lead prioritization, and drug repurposing (Ligand Express).
  • Potential for funding through grant co-applications with Cyclica.
  • Support from Cyclica Scientists during the project.
  • Opportunity to publish results from the project.
  • Commercialization opportunities through joint ventures with Cyclica and/or out-licensing.


  • Applicants should have full-time Columbia University faculty appointment.
  • The program is open to projects in all disease areas.
  • For the Ligand Express award, applications will be selected primarily based on the applicant’s capabilities to experimentally validate results obtained from the Ligand Express screening.
  • For Ligand Design award, applications will be selected based on research question and applicant’s capabilities to interrogate novel small molecules experimentally for therapeutic effects.

To apply, please send a non-confidential summary (1 page max.) of your project to describing:

  • Disease area(s) of interest
  • Whether structural information is available for your target (Ligand Design) or compound (Ligand Express)
  • Research questions that you would like to answer using Ligand Express or Ligand Design
  • How you plan to validate results generated by Ligand Design or Ligand Express

Selected projects will be discussed further with the Cyclica team with confidentiality agreement in place as appropriate.