Thursday, October 29, 2020
insitro, a machine-learning driven drug discovery and development company, today announced that it has entered into a five-year, discovery collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
“Neurodegenerative disorders like ALS and FTD have historically been a challenging therapeutic area, with no disease modifying treatments today. We are excited to partner with Bristol Myers Squibb and its world-class neuroscience leaders, who share our vision of leveraging human genetics, machine learning, and high-throughput biology and chemistry in order to identify and provide new treatments for patients suffering from these devastating diseases,” said Daphne Koller, founder and chief executive officer of insitro. “Since founding insitro just over 2 years ago, we have demonstrated our capabilities in building predictive models to discover novel targets and patient segments. We have also developed new approaches to machine-learning-enabled therapeutics design, which we look forward to deploying to discover treatments for novel targets emerging from this collaboration.”
In this collaboration, insitro will apply its proprietary platform, the insitro Human (ISH) platform, to create induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived disease models for ALS and FTD. The ISH platform applies machine learning, human genetics and functional genomics to generate and optimize predictive in vitro models and drive therapeutic discovery and development. Through its application, the ISH platform will provide insights into disease progression, identify coherent patient segments and discover candidate targets. Based on these insights, insitro will apply its machine-learning-enabled therapeutics discovery capabilities to advance programs. Bristol Myers Squibb will have the option to select a number of targets identified by insitro to advance through clinical development and commercialization.
insitro will receive $50 million in an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive an additional $20 million in near term operational milestones and up to an aggregate of more than $2 billion in discovery, development, regulatory and commercial milestones in addition to royalty payments on net product sales. Bristol Myers Squibb will be responsible for clinical development as well as regulatory submissions and commercialization activities.
“We believe that machine learning and data generated by novel experimental platforms offer the opportunity to rethink how we discover and design novel medicines,” said Richard Hargreaves, Ph.D., senior vice president, head of neuroscience TRC research and early development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “There is an unmet medical need for therapies to treat ALS and FTD and we are excited by the prospect of working with insitro’s team towards our shared goal of identifying transformative treatments for patients with these devastating diseases.”