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AZ/BenevolentAI collaboration reaches new milestones with AI –

Two additional new AI-generated targets for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) have been discovered using the benevolent platform and selected for the drug discovery portfolio of AstraZeneca (AZ).

These latest findings bring the total number of targets selected to date for entry into AZ’s portfolio under the collaboration to five, with potential for future development milestones and sales-based royalty revenue. for BenevolentAI, based in London, too. So far, all targets have either been for CKD (three in total) or IPF (now two).

Senior Vice President and Head of Early, Respiratory and Immunology Research and Development at AstraZeneca, Professor Maria Belvisi, said: “IPF is a devastating disease with a median survival of around three years and there is a need seriously better treatment options. […] Our partnership with BenevolentAI reinforces our commitment and we are proud to add a second new target for the IPF to our portfolio.

BenevolentAI is a leading clinical-stage AI drug discovery company. The long-term collaboration with AstraZeneca was initiated in 2019 with the aim of combining AZ’s disease expertise with the Benevolent Platform to identify new targets. Currently, the platform “feeds” an internal pipeline of 13 named drug programs and more than 10 exploratory programs.

The benevolent platform is disease-independent – ​​meaning it can be applied to any disease and is capable of rapidly generating novel targets at scale – and these last two steps as part of the collaboration AZ provide further validation of the approach for using this technology in targeted drug discovery.

BenevolentAI Chief Executive Officer Joanna Shields said, “These milestones provide repeated validation of BenevolentAI’s drug discovery platform, which has demonstrated significant momentum in identifying novel targets across a range of indications. therapies.

BenevolentAI’s collaboration with AZ allows the integration of collected data into its biomedical Knowledge Graph. This has the ability to quickly standardize and contextualize a diverse range of external and internal data from many sources – scientific literature, patents, genetics, chemistry, clinical trials – and, with the use of the graph and platform, scientists can interrogate the underlying data. mechanisms of disease, as well as to formulate and test hypotheses.

All new knowledge generated through disease control programs feeds back into the benevolent platform, enabling better predictions of future targets for higher quality drugs.

BenevolentAI’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Anne Phelan, explained, “Target identification is an essential first step in the drug discovery pipeline, and this is where we believe the Benevolent platform can have the most impact. great impact.

Executive Vice President, Biopharmaceutical R&D at AstraZeneca, Mene Pangalos, said, “Our ongoing collaboration with BenevolentAI helps us discover new rare variants of complex diseases, such as IPF and CKD. By combining the power of AI with human expertise, we bring new drug targets to our portfolio.

The number of strategic alliances for AI-based drug discovery has increased significantly in recent years: there were only 10 in 2015; in 2021, there were 105.

In January of this year, the AZ/BenevolentAI collaboration was extended for three years to expand into two new disease areas, heart failure and systemic lupus erythematosus.

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