Partnership aims to use AI to find treatment for rare diseases

Consortium.AI will use deep learning and neural networks to identify drugs to treat under-researched conditions

Tags: A2A Pharmaceuticals (www.a2apharma.com)Artifical intelligenceHealthcareInsilico Medicine, Inc (insilico.com/)Research and development
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Partnership aims to use AI to find treatment for rare diseases The new partnership aims to use AI for discovery of new drugs.
By  Mark Sutton Published  July 23, 2018

A new medical partnership aims to use artificial intelligence to discover drugs to treat ‘orphan' diseases.

Insilico Medicine, a company focused on AI for drug discovery, biomarker development and aging research, has announced a research collaboration agreement with biotechnology company A2A Pharmaceuticals.

Orphan diseases are diseases that affect less than 200,000 people, and although such diseases can have a severe impact on sufferers, the low numbers make it uneconomical for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to treat them. There are an estimated 7,000 orphan diseases.

The companies will form a new company, Consortium.AI , which will apply the latest advances in AI to discovery of novel small molecules for the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and other rare orphan diseases. Computationally pre-optimized new drug candidates have already been designed for targets validated through Insilico's artificial intelligence system A2A Pharmaceuticals will assume the management of the new company, provide the development expertise for the newly discovered compounds and should be contacted for the licensing of the compounds.

"We are pleased to partner with Insilico Medicine, combining our strengths and complementary technologies to accelerate advancement of better therapeutics into the clinic for the patients that need them," said Dr Elena Diez Cecilia, Head of Business Development at A2A Pharmaceuticals. "Muscular Dystrophy is a debilitating and terminal degenerative condition that causes muscle inflammation and wasting, and there is a huge need for more effective therapies."

Both companies will collaborate on research programs devoted to the development of therapeutic approaches for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and other severe genetic disorders. Insilico Medicine's technology applies advances in deep neural networks to identifying critical disease targets and generation of novel chemistry using next-generation artificial intelligence. A2A uses proprietary computational tools including artificial intelligence to design highly selective therapeutics for difficult to drug targets like protein-protein interactions.

"A2A Pharmaceuticals has a team of highly talented drug hunters with a proven track record in discovery, development and licensing of the drug candidates. We are very happy to partner with their team to address the unmet medical needs of patients who are desperately waiting for solutions. This is fantastic application for AI," said Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine.

The companies agreed to collaborate on drug discovery programs, empowering Insilico AI's biology and target discovery engine with A2A's state-of-the-art chemical design expertise in drug development. Consortium AI will bridge the ecosystems of two rapidly expanding AI-companies to enable dramatically faster and less expensive development of more effective therapeutics.

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