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December 04, 2023

AstraZeneca, Absci Forge $247 Million Generative AI Partnership to Develop Cancer Treatment

In Brief

AstraZeneca signed a $247 million agreement with AI biologics firm Absci to develop cancer antibody treatment through generative AI.

AstraZeneca, Absci Forge $247 Million Generative AI Partnership to Develop Cancer Treatment

Multinational pharma and biotechnology company AstraZeneca has entered into a $247 million agreement with artificial intelligence (AI) biologics drug discovery firm Absci. The collaborative effort is focused on creating an antibody for cancer treatment.

The partnership seeks to develop a generative AI model with zero-shot capabilities to produce innovative antibody therapeutics. Through the utilization of Absci’s AI technology for extensive protein analysis, the collaboration aims to identify a viable oncology therapy.

Absci generates exclusive data by assessing millions of protein interactions, using this information to train its generative AI model. The ultimate goal is to design and validate effective antibodies — proteins that target foreign substances within the body.

“AI is enabling us to not only improve the success and speed of our biologics discovery process but also enhance the diversity of the biologics we discover,” said Puja Sapra, Vice President of Tumour Targeted Delivery in Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca.

Established in 2011, Absci applies generative AI to optimize drug candidates based on factors such as target affinity, safety, manufacturability and other characteristics.

Accelerating Drug Development and Clinical Trials with AI

Generative AI has emerged as a transformative force in the field of biologics discovery, revolutionizing the way researchers explore and develop novel therapeutic molecules. 

The integration of generative AI into biologics discovery processes has significantly accelerated and enhanced the efficiency of drug development.

Most use cases of generative AI have been in the creation of new drug molecules, but there is also the potential for the technology in target identification and drug repurposing. Companies spanning various industries, including Insilico Medicine, Exscientia, Iktos and Adaptyv Bio have swiftly embraced generative AI. They actively leverage this technology to gain a competitive advantage and enhance their products within the realm of drug discovery.

For instance, Insilico Medicine utilises generative AI at every stage of the preclinical drug discovery process: to identify a molecule that a drug compound could target, generate novel drug candidates, gauge how well these candidates would bind with the target and even predict the outcome of clinical trials.

AstraZeneca recently revealed the formation of a new health-technology division aimed at integrating digital solutions and AI into clinical trials, Evinova, to accelerate the trial processes. This development — along with the new partnership underscores the company’s ongoing dedication to leveraging and exploring the possibilities of generative AI within the field.

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About The Author

Alisa, a dedicated journalist at the MPost, specializes in cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proofs, investments, and the expansive realm of Web3. With a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, she delivers comprehensive coverage to inform and engage readers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

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Alisa Davidson
Alisa Davidson

Alisa, a dedicated journalist at the MPost, specializes in cryptocurrency, zero-knowledge proofs, investments, and the expansive realm of Web3. With a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, she delivers comprehensive coverage to inform and engage readers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital finance.

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