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Companies focus on ALS in partnership with AI and drug discovery skills


Bringing artificial intelligence (AI) to the development of small molecule therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases is the goal of a business partnership in Asia.

The newly signed agreement is between Insilico medicine, a Hong Kong-based AI-based drug discovery company, and 4B Technologies of Suzhou, China, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in nervous system disorders.

One of the main goals of this collaboration is to use Insilico’s AI technologies to accelerate the discovery and development of treatments, while reducing costs associated with research programs.

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“R&D on traditional medicines [research and development] is a long and expensive process. It takes an average of 10 years and $ 2.6 billion for a new drug to be developed. The application of AI technologies in drug discovery and development has made great strides in recent years and has the potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry by dramatically shortening lead times and lowering costs, ”said Xiaoming Guan , PhD, CEO of 4B Technologies, in a statement. Press release.

“Neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, pose great challenges to medical research and are one of our main goals,” added Guan. “4B Technologies is establishing a broad ALS alliance with universities, hospitals, patient groups and industry partners. Our collaboration with Insilico will allow 4B to apply cutting edge AI technology to accelerate our R&D process… to develop a revolutionary treatment for ALS.

Insilico has three main areas of research powered by AI: its PandaOmics enables the discovery of targets in “a few clicks”, according to the company website. Its Chemistry42, an automated machine learning platform, strives to find new structures for potential therapeutic molecules, which can be moved to early and, potentially, clinical testing. The company also has InClinico, a tool to help trial sponsors design potentially successful clinical studies by spotting protocol flaws and predicting their likely success rate.

“Insilico is an industry leader in AI-based drug discovery with experience in the accelerated drug discovery process,” said Feng Ren, PhD, scientific director and head of therapeutic R&D at Insilico. “We are delighted to partner with 4B Technologies to address unmet medical needs for the treatment of ALS. “

This partnership, Ren added, “will take advantage of Insilico’s unique synthetic properties. [lab made] the biology and synthetic chemistry AI platform and 4B Technologies’ in-depth knowledge in targeting strategies, biology, translational research and clinical medicine in the field of neurological diseases to accelerate the discovery of new drugs for ALS.