Pharma Focus Asia

Bridge Biotherapeutics Enters AI-based Research Collaboration with Atomwise to Expand Pellino Inhibitor Pipeline

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Atomwise, the leader in using artificial intelligence (AI) for small molecule discovery, and Bridge Biotherapeutics, a clinical stage biotech company, announced today a research collaboration to launch up to 13 small molecule programs across multiple therapeutic areas using structure-based AI technology for drug discovery.

Under the agreement, Atomwise will use its AI technology and homology modeling capabilities to evaluate Pellino E3 ubiquitin ligases and their interactions with target protein substrates. Atomwise and Bridge will rapidly cycle through the design and testing of potent small molecule compounds, evaluating billions of possibilities that will selectively inhibit Pellino proteins.

Bridge is a pioneer in Pellino therapies and leads the development of BBT-401, the first-in-class Pellino-1 peptide inhibitor, currently in Phase 2 for ulcerative colitis (UC) treatments. BBT-401 targets Pellino-1, the protein mediating the myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88 (MYD88), which activates nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB) pathways triggering inflammation.1,2,3 Pellino-1 engages with multiple inflammatory signaling pathways.

“Atomwise’s leading AI technology and the expert team will help us unlock opportunities to discover new drug candidates with exciting targets,” said James Lee, Founder and CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics. “Our partnership with Atomwise will give us a competitive edge to build and expand an innovative first-in-class portfolio, upon our rich experience in Pellino-1 inhibitor development.”

“We are excited to partner with James and seasoned industry leaders on the Bridge team,” said Abraham Heifets, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Atomwise. “Our team has been impressed by their ability to consistently bring new therapies to the clinic and develop partnerships worldwide. We are looking forward to a productive and long-term relationship.”

Under the research collaboration agreement, Atomwise will receive upfront, milestone and royalty payments upon success for each research program.

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