Lhasa Limited is a not-for-profit organisation and educational charity which delivers public benefit through the collaborative development and use of computer-aided reasoning in scientific software.
With headquarters in Granary Wharf, Leeds, Lhasa creates expert and user-friendly prediction software and chemical databases for scientists in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and chemistry-related industries to use in metabolism, toxicology and related sciences. The software helps these industries to bring safe, effective and life enhancing medicines and other products to market earlier.
Initially based within the chemistry department at the University of Leeds in 1983 and employing just a handful of scientists, today Lhasa is a fast-growing global organisation, currently employing more than 150 people and with operations in Leeds, Newcastle, Poland and the USA. The growing global demand for its software will see further significant job creation in the coming years.
Lhasa has more than 350 members (i.e. customers) across the world including the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies (such as Pfizer, Novartis, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Hoffmann La Roche), leading consumer products manufacturers (e.g. Unilever and Procter & Gamble), top universities and academics, regulatory bodies, governmental organisations and charities.
In both 2016 and 2017 Lhasa received the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the Innovation category, in acknowledgement of its software – Derek Nexus and Sarah Nexus – which predict the toxicity of drugs and reduce the need for testing. The software is credited with speeding up the development of some of the most important drugs to be released in the last 20 years.
From the outset, Lhasa has been owned and controlled by its members. Throughout its history, Lhasa has provided a framework to enable members to contribute knowledge to the development and refinement of structure-activity relationships in their field of interest, without compromising the confidentiality of their proprietary data. Today, Lhasa continues to enable member organisations to pool their resources, both financial and intellectual, for the benefit of its entire membership, the wider scientific community and the public at large.
In essence, Lhasa plays a vital role in ensuring the industry is constantly innovating, as well as developing new computer-based approaches that keep its members at the forefront of drug development.
Lhasa’s software equips the medical research community with the information they need to move their drug development work forward and prioritise which compounds they want to invest more time and money in – which means they can get their drugs to the public earlier, safely and potentially at a lower cost.