Pharma Focus Asia

Atomwise Signs Strategic Multi-Target Research Collaboration with Sanofi for AI-Powered Drug Discovery

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Atomwise, a leader in using artificial intelligence (AI) for small molecule drug discovery, today announced that it has established a strategic and exclusive research collaboration with Sanofi that will leverage its AtomNet® platform for computational discovery and research of up to five drug targets.

The Atomwise approach shifts the mode of drug discovery away from serendipitous discovery and toward search based on structure, making the drug discovery process more rational, effective, and efficient. The AtomNet platform incorporates deep learning for structure-based drug design, enabling the rapid, AI-powered search of Atomwise’s proprietary library of more than 3 trillion synthesizable compounds.

“At Sanofi, we are committed to bringing higher quality medicines to patients faster, empowered by our advanced AI drug discovery engine. We are excited to partner with Atomwise, given their leadership in the field of virtual screening and AI-based molecular design,” said Frank Nestle, Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi. “Together, we aim at making the drug discovery process more efficient and effective in particular when very limited information is available to support drug design.”

As part of this agreement, Sanofi will pay Atomwise $20 million upfront to identify, synthesize, and advance lead compounds for up to five targets which will be exclusive to Sanofi. Subsequent payments pegged to key research, development, and sales milestones could total more than $1 billion. In addition, tiered royalties have been established for products developed through the collaboration.

“At Atomwise, our mission is to use our unique technology to make better medicines, faster, by unlocking targets that have been inaccessible to traditional small molecule discovery approaches,” said Abraham Heifets, co-founder and CEO of Atomwise. “We are pleased to enter into this collaboration with Sanofi, which serves as continued validation of the important role that AI-powered platforms will play in accelerating the discovery of new therapies for diseases and conditions that may have gone untreated due to challenging or uncharacterized drug targets.”

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