Rare Disease Report

DMD & Other Rare Orphan Diseases Tackled by AI Collaboration

JULY 31, 2018
Krista Rossi
A collaboration in artificial intelligence (AI) is seeking to change the landscape for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and other rare diseases. With the average development time for novel orphan drugs taking 10 years or more, an accelerated approach to the process is imperative.

Insilico Medicine, a leading artificial intelligence company in medicine has partnered up with A2A Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a biotechnology company focused on novel drug development, to create a new company referred to as Consortium.AI, which will strive to apply the latest advances in AI in an effort to discover novel small molecules for DMD and other rare diseases.

"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 Elena Diez Cecilia, PhD, head of business development at A2A Pharmaceuticals, in a recent statement. "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 work on the development of research programs dedicated to the development of therapeutic approaches for DMD and other severe genetic disorders. Insilico Medicine’s technology applies advances in deep neural networks to identify important disease targets and generates novel chemistry through the use of next-generation AI, while A2A uses proprietary computational tools, including AI, to create highly selective therapeutics for difficult drug targets, such as 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,” added Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine. “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.”
Insilico's artificial intelligence system has already designed validated targets through computationally pre-optimized new drug candidates. Management of Consortium.AI will be handled by A2A Pharmaceuticals; they will also provide development expertise for the newly discovered compounds. For formalities regarding licensing of the compounds, A2A should be contacted.

By agreeing to collaborate on drug discovery programs, the 2 companies will empower Insilico AI's biology and target discovery engine with A2A's state-of-the-art chemical design expertise in drug development.

Consortium.AI will also allow the 2 rapidly expanding companies to bridge their ecosystems, which will consequently enable dramatically faster and less expensive development of more effective therapeutics for DMD and other rare orphan diseases, according to the recent news release.
 

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