Pharma Focus Asia

Iktos Announces a Collaboration With Ono in Artificial Intelligence for New Drug Design

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for new drug design today announced a collaboration agreement with Ono Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., a leading pharmaceutical company based in Japan with a focus on innovative medicines dedicated to the fight against disease and pain.

Under the agreement, Iktos will apply its de novo ligand and structure-based generative modelling technologies and software Makya™, its AI-based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™, and know-how complementing Ono’s drug discovery capabilities to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates and to identify additional novel chemical matter with suitable properties for undisclosed Ono’s drug discovery programmes. ONO will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize small molecule compounds discovered in the collaboration. Iktos will receive research funding plus milestone payments based on achievement of certain milestones. Ono scientists will benefit from direct access to Iktos Makya™ and Spaya™ software platforms as part of the collaboration.

Iktos’s AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps to bring new insights and directions into the drug discovery process based on a comprehensive data-driven chemical structure generation technology. The technology automatically designs virtual novel molecules with all the characteristics of a successful drug molecule. This approach, validated through multiple collaborations, is a novel solution to one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. This approach uniquely enables the exploration of chemical space and produces innovative molecule designs with optimized properties. Iktos makes its AI technology available to its customers both through research collaborations and through direct access to its SaaS platforms Makya™ for de novo design and Spaya for synthesis planning.

"We are very pleased to collaborate with Ono, a leading pharmaceutical company based in Japan, and proud to announce our first collaboration deal with a Japanese pharma company," said Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos. “Our ultimate objective is to expedite drug discovery and achieve time and cost efficiencies for our collaborators by using Iktos’s proprietary AI platform and know-how. We are confident that together we will be able to identify promising novel chemical matter and solve complex multiparametric optimisation problems for Ono’s drug discovery programmes. We are committed to tackle challenging problems alongside our collaborators where we can demonstrate value generation for new and on-going drug discovery projects.”

“Iktos has excellent artificial intelligence technology and platform in drug discovery,” said Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director, Discovery & Research of Ono. “Through this drug discovery collaboration, we are excited to work with Iktos to identify and develop the next generation of innovative treatments, leading to further expansion of our development pipeline.”

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