ZeptoHit : in silico hit discovery

Discover our next generation AI solution for discovery of hits and bioactivity

What is hit discovery

The goal of hit discovery is to identify a chemical compound that is capable of modulating a drug target. Hit identification can be performed through several approaches, from genome mining, to library screening.

Why hit discovery is hard

Hit discovery is challenging in many ways. First, the search space of compounds is very wide, so it can be complicated to select the compounds to be screened in priority. Second, many hit discovery approaches will tend to focus on compounds that have similar molecular structures to known hits, whereas more promising compounds could be found in other molecular structures. Last, and not least, hit discovery can be expensive, due to the cost of infrastructure, compounds, and reagents.

What is Kantify's novel solution ZeptoHit?

ZeptoHit is a technology based on Artificial Intelligence which accelerates hit discovery. With only a protein sequence as input, ZeptoHit can quickly and efficiently recommend promising hits, without limitations to chemical structures similar to known hits. Furthermore, ZeptoHit can accurately make predictions for proteins that have no known modulator or binder. ZeptoHit can be seen as a very smart filter which will predict promising compounds across millions of possibilities. These compounds can later be screened and validated in a wet lab in a low throughput screening campaign.

Why is it unique?

ZeptoHit has been learning from millions of examples of hits. With only a protein sequence as input, it can generate a list of likely hits, with a high accuracy. Thanks to this wide knowledge it is capable of:

  • identifying not only the on-target hits, but also the off-target hits. Thanks to this, adverse effects can better be anticipated.

  • identifying hits even in the case of unknown compounds. Thanks to this, drug discovery teams working on novel compounds do not start from a blank page but can already start identifying possible hits;

  • identifying hits even in the case of novel targets. Also here, pharma researchers can pre-screen a novel target even if it is not well known or studied.

  • predicting the type of bioactivity: the solution does not only predict if there will be a hit but also predicts the type of expected bioactivity: activation, inhibition…

  • prioritizing compounds that are synthesizable and available so they can be rapidly tested

Hit rate

Hit rate for targets for which prior hits are known

On average, for every 2 compounds recommended by Zeptomics, 1 will be a hit.

Hit rate for targets for which NO prior hits are known

On average, for every 4 compounds recommended by Zeptomics, 1 will be a hit.

This unique performance makes it possible to accelerate research both for known and unknown targets.


The benefits of using ZeptoHit are the following:

  • Considerably decrease time and cost of drug discovery efforts;

  • Increase chances of success through the identification of possible adverse effects due to off target hits;

  • Filter out non promising leads in order to concentrate screening efforts on promising leads.

  • Decrease risk of drug development projects by having the widest possible search of promising leads, instead of missing out on some valuable compounds.

For proper lead optimization, ZeptoHit can be complemented by its sister solution ZeptoWard, which identifies ADMET properties of lead compounds.

Read more below about Zeptomics, our AI powered drug discovery pipeline and discover the other possibilities offered by this powerful end-to-end solution.

Kantify is bridging AI and biotech. We partner with drug hunters willing to accelerate their discovery efforts, across many therapeutic areas. Contact us via the below form to learn more!

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