A Software Platform for the Design of Antidotes for Nerve Agents

Drug Development

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a software application for screening potential drug candidates for their efficacy as antidotes for nerve agent poisoning. This software utilizes machine learning to predict efficacy of both novel chemistry compounds and existing drug formulations and their ability to target and/or reverse organophosphate poisoning.


The World Health Organization classifies poisoning with organophosphorus insecticides as a major global public health problem, causing an estimated 250,000 deaths each year (1). Furthermore, nerve agents have the potential to be deployed intentionally in a form of biological warfare. The current care management for organophosphate poisoning consists of intravenous atropine and oximes, pralidoxime if diagnosed early enough.

However, due to the variation of active chemical groups on organophosphate materials, treatment and antidote’s effectiveness remain unclear. Critically, early diagnosis and rapid treatment are needed to reverse the effects of organophosphate poisoning. Unfortunately, unique nerve agent antidotes are typically designed by individuals with pharmaceutical knowledge of appropriate medicinal chemistries and ultimately would be unable to develop such a wide variety of cures in urgent situations.


The software developed herein can leverage machine learning to detect potential antidotes for organophosphate type chemicals. Organophosphate materials may have different active groups and thus may bind more or less specifically to certain antidotes and treatments. Therefore, it is critical to find potential antidotes that work rapidly to reverse the effects of organophosphate poisoning (2). This software may search both public and privately available databases to assess a drug candidate with respect to cholinestarase reactivation against a number of potential nerve agents and organophosphorus insecticides to identify new antidote targets. The software thus automates the search for potential nerve agent antidotes and organophosphate poisoning antidotes.


  • Accelerated antidote development for nerve agents
  • Better care management for organophosphate insecticide poisonings
  • Automates search for drug development and potential antidotes


  • Drug development
  • Antidote discovery
Last Updated: March 2022
A computer software

Available for Licensing
TRL: 7

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Copyright / Software


Brad Reisfeld
Sohaib Habiballah
Janice Chambers
Edward Meek

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Aly Hoeher