Case study

Spaya logo

The creation of an innovative web app that helps chemists globally research new drugs

01 Story

Accelerating Chemistry Research

Founded in 2016, Iktos is an innovative company that leverages AI and Machine Learning to help researchers design new drugs more effectively.

In 2019, Iktos had in their hands excellent tools but needed the appropriate user interface to appeal to customers. They contacted Mirumee to ask about Ariadne – and they were surprised to find out that the Python library was born here. A fruitful partnership soon started.

Together, we perfected Spaya, a user-friendly online platform for chemists to create and explore retrosynthetic pathways effortlessly. As the pillar of its success, the chemistry web app is used by several biotech and big pharma companies over the world.

company since 2016,

technologies from 2019

02 Mission

A Much-Needed Boost In a High-Stakes Industry

Developing drugs is costly. Launching a drug costs an average of £1,15 billion over 12,5 years of research, development, trials, and licensing, according to the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries.

In this very high-risk environment, Iktos fosters faster discovery by providing powerful yet flexible technology to pharmaceutical R&D teams. In particular, Spaya aims to help chemists go from target compounds to commercial starting materials in minutes.

Spaya logo
I had the pleasure of working with the Mirumee Team for over three years. What first started as an idea to find a good development partner soon transformed into much more. Not only did they handle the development, but they also took on a complete redesign, improved our UX, and helped us shape our features. I seriously recommend Mirumee as a technology & design expert, they really know what they are doing and how to tailor ideas into a one of a kind solution.”
Quentin Perron

Quentin Perron,

Co-Founder & CSO

03 Challenges

Specialized topic and scientific audience

The project is cutting-edge and tailored to scientists, making it complex for non-trained personnel to understand its intricacies.

Required agile mindset

The project had complexities that required an agile approach and being prepared for constant changes. For example, database migration was done manually in dozens of instances with each modification, leading to inefficiencies.

A simple flow for a complex journey

Spaya should allow the user to supply a chemical molecule and, through AI and ML, generate feasible reactions in a comprehensive tree view. At any stage, researchers should be able to access specific details for each molecule or compound, make purchases through partner stores, report issues, and print information.

Overwhelming operations

The initial setup was containerized in a way that resulted in slow and non-incremental builds. Additionally, every week saw new setups, demanding hefty downloads of dozens to hundreds of GB due to Machine Learning data.

Frontend in need of an overhaul

The original version of the app was built in vanilla JavaScript by a data team not specialized in web development – as a result, the frontend had poor performance.

04 Technology

Spaya logo
Spaya was one of my favorite projects. We collaborated closely with their expert data science team to ensure the platform meets the business goals and is useful to the end users.”
Jan Chorodowski

Jan Chorodowski,

Frontend Principal, Mirumee

05 Relationship

Proactive Problem-Solving

During the early stages, the project included only web development. Despite that, our designers proactively recommended crucial UX improvements on the platform. We proposed changes and created a future-proof vision for the product, which was well received. Soon, we joined forces for a complete project redesign based on the proposed changes.

Trusting Each Others Speciality

Iktos had a team of engineers working on AI and ML with a complex service architecture, necessitating a user interface. Initially, we had daily interactions with a co-founder who is also an expert chemist, leading to a highly effective collaboration.

Adaptable Communication

During the two years of collaboration, we met as needed – from three to five times a week. When the schedule had too many meetings, we proposed rationalizing the number and format of encounters, which boosted overall productivity. Regarding design, we facilitated comprehensive communication through tools like Figma and Jira, easing asynchronous collaboration.

mirumee logo
Spaya was an enjoyable and unique endeavor. The app is so unique that no one else was doing something like it. The work we were engaged in was highly innovative.”
Iwo Rzepiela

Iwo Rzepiela,

Design Lead, Mirumee