Wednesday, April 29, 2020
BioDuro, LLC, a leading drug discovery and development services organization, and neoX, a leading-edge artificial intelligence and biophysics focused biotech, announced today a strategic cooperation to establish the first antibody discovery platform to combine artificial intelligence (AI) and synthetic antibody discovery. The combined platform will enable the companies’ biopharma partners to shorten timelines and improve quality of antibody-based drug development programs, enabling faster path to the clinic.
neoX and BioDuro’s combined platform screens tens of billions of high-impact sequences in a high-throughput manner. The sequences are all synthetic, meaning they are deliberately designed antibodies with optimized affinity, specificity, stability, and therapeutic developability. The platform is especially useful for previously intractable targets, such as GPCRs, ion channels, and peptide-MHC complexes, that have consistently failed development as antibody-based therapeutics.
The AI antibody technology of neoX includes the latest artificial neural network algorithm, machine learning, and molecular dynamics to simulate the directed evolution of each antibody—ultimately outputting optimized sequences that specifically and potently bind the target antigen. These AI-acquired sequences are quickly advanced into experimental screens.
“Out of hugely diversified potential sequences, our platform selects the very best subset to advance into screens; there’s an extraordinary amount of computing and intelligence required to select smaller, smarter and optimal libraries for higher success rate of antibody discovery,” said Michael Chen, PhD, co-founder and CEO of neoX. “Without this advanced AI approach, researchers end up spending a lot of time screening through suboptimal libraries, ending up with suboptimal therapeutics.”
BioDuro’s advanced synthetic antibody technology rapidly transforms the results of AI directed evolution into functional antibodies using high-speed DNA engineering, which is then used to create and screen more than 10 billion human synthetic antibodies. Traditional non-synthetic approaches use the immune system of a human or other animal to generate antibodies, resulting in antibody diversity and developability that is restricted.
“BioDuro’s synthetic antibody screening platform enables us to discover the most optimal antibodies, because we are not limited by a human or animal immune system,” said Xiang Li, DPhil, Senior Vice President, Integrated Biology at BioDuro. “We can design any antibody with virtually infinite combinations of sequences that are optimized through directed evolution, and we make sure to start with a fully human antibody framework that has good development properties, meaning we have a much better likelihood of reaching the clinic—and doing so quickly.”
The companies are also working with several partners to extend the technology into antibody designs for immune cell therapies such as CAR-T and TCR-T, which are highly promising immuno-oncology therapeutics, but have had unexpected outcomes and strong side effects in clinical studies—largely attributed to suboptimal antibody and linker designs. The teams are applying their unique antibody discovery platform to rapidly discover and develop next-generation CAR-T therapy with improved safety and efficacy profiles.