Biogerontology Research Foundation salutes staff on multi-year drug development agreement
14 AUGUST, 2017
Tuesday, Aug. 14th, 2017, London, UK: Biogerontology Research Foundation (BGRF) Chief Science Officer Alex Zhavoronkov and BGRF Trustee Jim Mellon announce a multi-year drug development agreement, whereby Juvenescence Limited (led by Jim Mellon) will utilize leads generated by Insilico Medicine (led by Dr. Zhavoronkov) through their deep-learned drug discovery engines to develop drugs aiming to treat aging and age-related diseases, as well as a set of companion multi-modal age-related disease biomarkers.
Insilico Medicine has spent several years developing and refining their deep-learned drug discovery engines to predict the biological activity of compounds based on deep-learned training on structural, functional and phenotypic data. Insilico's team has strove to incorporate the newest AI techniques, such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), into their drug discovery platforms in an effort to position themselves as a leader of AI-based drug discovery and development, with the capability to generate novel compounds with specifiable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties via deep learning alone, thereby drastically accelerating the time and expense invested into novel drug discovery and development.
"The team at Juvenescence is very excited to partner with Insilico Medicine to tackle ageing. Developed and emerging economies alike are faced with rapidly ageing populations, so successfully treating ageing as a disease will lead to significant savings on healthcare cost as well as a more productive population. Ageing is a highly complex process which makes artificial intelligence the perfect tool to gain insights into ageing and age related disease. Insilico is without question one of the leaders in artificial intelligence based drug discovery and Juvenescence AI looks forward to validating the best of Insilico's compounds in humans." said Jim Mellon, Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation and Chairman of Juvenescence Limited.
Insilico Medicine was the first company to apply GANs to the task of generating novel molecular structures with specifiable parameters, and have published several proof-of-concept studies on the application of deep neural networks to predicting the therapeutic class of novel drug candidates using transcriptional response data in Oncotarget and Molecular Pharmaceutics. More recently, Insilico Medicine was profiled in a recent article in Nature Biotechnology titled "AI-powered drug discovery captures pharma interest" as being one of the leading companies utilizing machine learning for drug discovery.
"The application of deep learning to ageing research is poised to make rapid progress on many fronts in the years to come. Perhaps foremost among these is the application of deep learning to accelerating drug discovery and development timelines by using deep learning to characterize drug candidates according to their likely efficacy and safety prior to preclinical and clinical trials. In the coming years it seems likely that the pharmaceutical industry and the process of drug discovery and development will come to be radically disrupted by AI and deep learning-based approaches, and none too soon given the increasing cost of drug discovery and development. This agreement between Insilico Medicine and Juvenescence AI marks yet another landmark milestone in the mission of utilizing AI to accelerate drug discovery and development for the treatment of ageing and age-related disease, and one that is very much in line with the mission and vision of the BGRF" said Franco Cortese, Deputy Director & Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.
This agreement between Juvenescence and Insilico has led to the formation of a new joint venture, Juvenescence AI, to serve as a vehicle for the real-world validation of Insilico's deep-learned leads. As part of the deal, Juvenescence AI has agreed to licence selected compound families from Insilico on an ongoing basis, with the ultimate aim of developing these leads into therapies to treat aging itself as well as the myriad age-related diseases afflicting developed nations today.
"Given the increasing cost of drug discovery, development and clinical evaluation, it is clear that the clinical translation of geroprotective interventions will be increasingly led by the private sector, and by parties who have the resources to sustain the increasing financial burden of bringing truly effective longevity therapeutics to market. And it is companies like Insilico Medicine, led by BGRF Chief Science Officer Alex Zhavoronkov, and Juvenescence Limited, led by BGRF Trustee Jim Mellon, both of whom have clearly demonstrated their commitment to reduce suffering in the world at large via the clinical translation of drugs aimed to treat aging and age-related disease, will be the ones to lead this charge in years to come" said Dmitry Kaminskiy, Trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation.
About the Biogerontology Research Foundation
The Biogerontology Research Foundation is a UK non-profit research foundation and public policy center seeking to fill a gap within the research community, whereby the current scientific understanding of the ageing process is not yet being sufficiently exploited to produce effective medical interventions. The BGRF funds and conducts research which, building on the body of knowledge about how ageing happens, aims to develop biotechnological interventions to remediate the molecular and cellular deficits which accumulate with age and which underlie the ill-health of old age. Addressing ageing damage at this most fundamental level will provide an important opportunity to produce the effective, lasting treatments for the diseases and disabilities of ageing, required to improve quality of life in the elderly. The BGRF seeks to use the entire scope of modern biotechnology to attack the changes that take place in the course of ageing, and to address not just the symptoms of age-related diseases but also the mechanisms of those diseases.
About Juvenescence Limited
Juvenescence Limited is an investment company focussed on therapies to increase human longevity and complementary investments in related sectors. It was founded in 2017 by Jim Mellon, Greg Bailey,Declan Doogan, Anthony Chow, and Alexander Pickett. The Juvenescence team are highly experienced entrepreneurs and investors with a significant focus on the life science and commercial drug development sectors. Juvenescence creates new ventures and invests directly in both startup and established longevity related companies while offering strategic advice and operational support.
Juvenescence believes that advances in science have made real the possibility of slowing, halting or potentially reversing some elements of ageing. Juvenescence believes that the resulting increase in life expectancy will have profound implications on all sectors and in particular healthcare, education, insurance and leisure.
About Juvenescence AI Limited
Juvenescence AI Limited is a drug development and artificial intelligence company focussed on ageing and age-related diseases. Juvenescence AI combines advances in artificial intelligence with classical development expertise in order to prioritise and develop compounds from Insilico Medicine, Inc's end-to-end automated drug discovery pipeline through to clinical proof of concept.
About Insilico Medicine, Inc
Insilico Medicine, Inc. is an artificial intelligence company located at the Emerging Technology Centers at the Johns Hopkins University Eastern campus in Baltimore, with R&D resources in Belgium, Russia, and the UK sourced through hackathons and competitions. The company utilises advances in genomics, big data analysis, and deep learning for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for ageing and age-related diseases. The company is pursuing internal drug discovery programs in cancer, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, diabetes, sarcopenia, and ageing. Through its Pharma.AI division, Insilico provides advanced machine learning services to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and skin care companies, foundations and national governments globally. In 2017, NVIDIA selected Insilico Medicine as one of the Top 5 AI companies in its potential for social impact.