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Insilico & Arctoris partner to combine robotics & AI for COVID-19 therapeutics

American biotech, Insilico Medicine and research tech company, Arctoris Ltd, have announced a technology partnership to jointly discover and profile new therapeutics against COVID-19 by combining robotics and AI.

 Insilico Medicine, who specialise in developing an end-to-end drug discovery pipeline utilizing next-generation artificial intelligence, yesterday announced a technology partnership with Arctoris, the world’s first fully automated drug discovery platform, offering remotely accessible, pre-optimised and fully validated R&D processes for its partners and clients globally. The partnership enables the two companies to combine their unique strengths in AI-guided drug discovery for target identification and generative chemistry on the one hand, and robotics for rapid generation of high-quality cell-based, molecular and biochemical data on the other. The partnership propels the two companies’ abilities to discover and validate novel molecules faster.

Contributing their strengths to the fight against COVID-19, the two companies utilized their unique state-of-the-art techniques to discover, synthesize, and profile a set of inhibitors for COVID-19 treatment. Insilico identified novel small molecules using its AI capabilities, with Arctoris rapidly evaluating the intended biological actions on its robotic platform. In a develop-test-refine loop, the partners iterated new molecules several times faster than the industry standard, providing unprecedented prospects 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.

Commenting in a LinkedIn post, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, Alex Zhavoronkov, said of the news: “[I am] very, very happy to announce our first partnership with a wonderful cloud robotics company in Oxford, Arctoris. There are only a handful of companies in the space of next-gen robotics-driven drug discovery and machine-learnable data generation and Arctoris is certainly one of the leaders with a very new tech that they got to work. Here we did the first pilot and are partnering on COVID-19 and will extend it into a bigger partnership.”

“We are excited to announce our technology partnership with Insilico Medicine, a world-leader in AI-based drug discovery. 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.

Insilico and Arctoris have already been working together on BioTarget, a collaborative effort supported by Cancer Research UK to find new molecules for cancer treatment from partners globally, crowdsourcing the drug discovery process and making leading experimental tools accessible to researchers worldwide, thereby democratising the drug discovery ecosystem.

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.

Image credit: Insilico

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AI / Pharma Industry / R&D / Robotics

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