With a presence in Hong Kong and New York, Insilico was founded in 2014 with the goal of innovating and deploying AI technology for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to simplify research and development and “change the way treatments and materials are discovered.”
Its robotic AI platform targets precision medicine with the promise of “significantly” reducing costs and development time. Her work focuses on the key areas of cancer, fibrosis, immunity, diseases of the central nervous system and diseases associated with ageing.
The high-level correlation is a clear sign that AI is seen as a key tool for the future of drug discovery, according to analysts.
Identification, manufacture and development of therapeutic compounds
Under the terms of the agreement, Sanofi will pay Insilico Medicine a total of up to $21.5 million in pre-targeted nomination fees to leverage Insilico Pharma.AI’s comprehensive platform and access to a team of multidisciplinary drug discovery scientists in order to identify, synthesize, and develop high-quality therapeutic compounds and develop them up to the candidate stage. Development.
Additional payments will follow if key R&D and sales milestones are met: with the potential to reach $1 billion.
The collaboration also includes average to low single digit double-digit returns for any products being developed.
“We look forward to working with Insilico Medicine, a leader in AI-assisted drug discovery,”said Changchun Xiao, head of China research at Sanofi. “This collaboration will enhance our complementary capabilities, as well as the co-location of our scientific teams, to advance the drug discovery efforts of the Sanofi Institute for Biomedical Research (SIBR), Sanofi’s research and development center in China.”
In August, Insilico closed a Series D2 funding round totaling $95 million. The company’s previously announced collaborations included those with Fosun Pharma, PAQ Therapeutics, Huadong Medicine and The University of Cambridge.
“By leveraging Sanofi’s strong drug research and development expertise and Insilico’s robust AI platform, we believe we can accelerate the discovery of new treatments to treat diseases with unmet medical needs,”said Feng Ren, PhD, co-CEO and chief scientific officer of Insilico Medicine. “Together we will use cutting-edge AI technologies to achieve important breakthroughs in drug research and development.”
The disruptive power of artificial intelligence
In November 2021, Sanofi invested $180 million in stock in artificial intelligence startup Oken to develop an oncology pipeline; Followed by a $5.2 billion deal with Exscience oncology and immunology in January 2022; and a $20 million deal (with potentially $1 billion in principal payments) with Atomwise in August.
A 2022 survey by industry analysts GlobalData showed that healthcare professionals believe AI is the technology expected to have the most disruptive power in the next two years (67% of respondents dedicated to AI compared to 45% for big data and 32% for RWE). ) .
“Sanofi is among a number of companies that are capitalizing heavily on AI-based drug development deals,” said Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData.
“One of the biggest challenges in the drug discovery and development process is that thousands of compounds are undergoing early preclinical testing, but only a few potential candidates make it to phase I and III clinical trials and make it to commercialization.
“There have been a growing number of successful AI use cases in the pharmaceutical industry: for example, AI-generated drugs developed by Evotec-Exscientia and Sumitomo Dainippon-Exscientia that have entered human clinical trials. The next big milestone will be seeing the drugs AI-detected advances to late clinical trials.
“Being an emerging technology that can disrupt and reshape the pharmaceutical sector, AI can certainly extend its application and coverage beyond drug discovery and development.”