Robotics and AI combine for new therapeutics discovery

Insilico Medicine and Arctoris announce robotics/AI partnership to focus on COVID-19 inhibitors that could have wide-reaching benefits for Longevity.

Two companies have joined forces in the battle against COVID-19, planning to combine their strengths to discover and validate novel molecules more quickly.

Longevity.Technology: The pandemic is accelerating research as science races to find a way to halt the spread and effects of COVID-19. Using AI to crunch the numbers for target identification and generative chemistry for drug discovery is important, but what happens when a target is acquired?

This partnership demonstraes that rapid generation of high-quality cell-based, molecular and biochemical data is also needed to ensure speedy discovery and validation of new – and possibly game-changing – molecules.

Insilico Medicine, a biotechnology company developing an end-to-end drug discovery pipeline utilising next-gen AI, is already at the forefront of COVID-19 research; it is developing microbiomic tools, and will be releasing COVIDOMIC, a tool for exploring variables with an effect on the COVID-19 infection outcome, including those derived from patients’ respiratory microbiome.

Arctoris boasts the world’s first fully automated drug discovery platform, which offers remotely accessible, pre-optimised and fully validated R&D processes for its partners and clients globally.

The two companies have previously partnered together on BioTarget, a collaborative effort supported by Cancer Research UK that works to find new molecules for cancer treatment from partners globally, crowdsourcing the drug discovery process and making leading experimental tools accessible to researchers worldwide.

Democratising the drug discovery ecosystem will be beneficial for Longevity, especially as researchers work to overcome the obstacles of polypharmcy that beset an aging population.

Insilico and Arctoris will be using state-of-the-art techniques to discover, synthesise, and profile a set of inhibitors for COVID-19 treatment. Insilico identified novel small molecules using its AI capabilities, with Arctoris evaluating the intended biological actions on its robotic platform.

In a develop-test-refine loop, the partners were able to iterate new molecules several times faster than the industry standard, which bodes well for new drug discovery successes. The JAK inhibitor study profiled a set of potent inhibitors that can help patients by modulating the life-threatening cytokine storm caused by COVID-19.

“We are excited to announce our technology partnership with Insilico Medicine … We see tremendous value in combining our next-generation robotic platform with Insilico’s unique capabilities in drug design.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, time is of the essence, and this project demonstrates that together, we are able to accelerate the drug discovery process, and create and progress new drug candidates faster and cheaper,” said Martin-Immanuel Bittner MD DPhil, Co-Founder & CEO of Arctoris.

“Arctoris developed an advanced robotics platform that can be used for a very broad spectrum of applications in drug discovery and biological data generation. We discussed the collaboration for quite some time but this pandemic really highlighted the benefits of a close AI- and robotics-powered discovery integration,” said Alex Zhavoronkov PhD, founder, and CEO of Insilico Medicine.

Further collaboration will focus on joint drug discovery projects in oncology, a field of particular interest to both Arctoris and Insilico, with their mission to eliminate age-related disease and promote healthy Longevity.

Photo credits: Insilico and Arctoris