BENEVOLENTAI ACHIEVES FURTHER MILESTONES IN AI-ENABLED TARGET IDENTIFICATION COLLABORATION WITH ASTRAZENECA
London, 6 October 2022: BenevolentAI (Euronext Amsterdam: BAI), a leading clinical-stage AI drug discovery company, today announces that AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company, has selected an additional two novel targets to enter its drug portfolio, for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), resulting in two milestone payments to BenevolentAI.
The long-term collaboration, initiated in 2019, combines BenevolentAI’s proprietary AI-enabled drug discovery platform, the Benevolent Platform™, with AstraZeneca’s disease expertise to identify novel targets. The Platform is disease agnostic, meaning it can be applied to any disease and is capable of rapidly generating novel targets at scale. These latest milestones provide additional validation for BenevolentAI’s disease-agnostic approach, which has so far delivered five novel targets to AstraZeneca’s portfolio, two for CKD and three for IPF. The collaboration was also expanded for a further three years into two new disease areas — heart failure and systemic lupus erythematosus — in January 2022.
Through the collaboration, BenevolentAI integrates AstraZeneca’s data into its biomedical Knowledge Graph, which has the ability to rapidly normalise and contextualise a diverse range of external and internal data from numerous sources including, but not limited to, scientific literature, patents, genetics, chemistry and clinical trials. BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca scientists work side-by-side, using the Platform and Knowledge Graph to interrogate underlying disease mechanisms, frame and test hypotheses and rapidly identify novel targets. New knowledge generated through the disease programmes is also fed back into the Platform, improving the quality of future drug target predictions.
Joanna Shields, Chief Executive Officer at BenevolentAI, commented: “We are pleased that AstraZeneca has selected a further two novel targets from our collaboration to enter its portfolio. These milestones provide repeated validation of BenevolentAI’s drug discovery Platform, which has demonstrated significant momentum in identifying novel targets across a range of therapeutic indications. We look forward to further successes in our collaboration.”
Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, commented: "In order to deliver the next wave of life-changing medicines it is important we identify the right drug targets that can transform disease. Our ongoing collaboration with BenevolentAI is helping us to uncover novel rare variants of complex diseases, such as IPF and CKD. By combining the power of AI with human expertise we are bringing new drug targets into our portfolio.”