News Report Technology
November 14, 2023

Almirall and Absci Partner to Harness Generative AI for Drug Discovery

In Brief

Almirall and Absci Corporation have partnered to leverage AI for drug discovery, aiming to develop medicines for severe skin diseases.

Global pharmaceutical company Almirall and Absci Corporation – a generative AI drug creation firm, have announced a partnership to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for the rapid creation of novel treatments. The partnership will merge Absci’s drug creation technology with Almirall’s skin expertise to deliver life-changing medicines to patients grappling with severe skin diseases.

The collaboration is Almirall’s initial venture into AI drug development, shortly after Absci’s announcement of its ability to create therapeutic antibodies using ‘zero-shot’ generative AI.

“Zero-shot generative AI” generally refers to the capability of a generative artificial intelligence system to perform a task without prior examples or training data. In a traditional machine learning setting, models are trained on large datasets to learn patterns and make predictions.

Simply put, zero-shot learning aims to enable models to perform tasks they haven’t seen before, using their understanding of related tasks or concepts.

Under the terms of this groundbreaking partnership, Absci stands to gain not only through product royalties but also through a potential windfall of up to approximately $650 million. This includes upfront fees, research and development (R&D) funding and post-approval milestone payments across the two programs — contingent upon the successful completion of predefined milestones.

Artificial intelligence in the drug discovery market is worth $4.9 billion, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.

Absci’s founder and CEO, Sean McClain, sees this partnership as a transformative step not only in dermatologic drug development but also as a catalyst for scientific and technical insights.

“The collaboration is anticipated to pave the way for utilizing AI drug creation to treat chronic inflammatory diseases on a broader scale. Working with Almirall, a leader in skin disease research, is poised to accelerate Absci’s journey in creating better biology for a broad spectrum of diseases affecting millions worldwide,” McClain added.

Generative AI for Drug Discovery is Gaining Traction

In the world of high-tech discoveries, a lot has been heard about “generative AI.” It has been bit of a buzzword lately.

Insilico Medicine, a company dedicated to finding new treatments for serious illnesses, has been using this technology for quite a while. Their early bet on deep learning is paying off big time.

The company’s drug discovered using AI, is moving into Phase 2 of clinical trials. The target? To counter a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that messes with how your lungs work.

Insilico strategically employed generative AI throughout its drug discovery process, rather than fortuitously discovering the drug.

Initially, the technology facilitated the identification of a target molecule for drug intervention. Subsequently, it played a pivotal role in generating novel drug alternatives.

The AI aided in assessing the binding efficacy of these drugs to the target. Notably, the predictive capabilities extended to anticipating outcomes in future clinical trials. Insilico’s approach showcased navigating the drug discovery journey with a highly intelligent assistant.

Generative AI accelerates the identification and optimization of novel treatments, breaking traditional barriers in pharmaceutical research. Illustrated by industry players, generative AI’s capacity to predict clinical outcomes and address diverse medical challenges marks a transformative leap forward.

Its role extends beyond specific diseases, promising a future where AI-driven drug discovery reshapes the landscape of global healthcare with unprecedented speed and precision.

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About The Author

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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Kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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