AstraZeneca uses AI platform to target idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 

AstraZeneca has added a novel target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) to its drug development portfolio, discovered using BenevolentAI’s platform. This is reportedly the second novel target from the collaboration that has been identified, validated, and selected for AstraZeneca’s portfolio.  

The collaboration 

BenevolentAI’s collaboration with AstraZeneca currently focuses on discovering potential new treatments for IPF and chronic kidney disease (CKD).  The collaboration sees scientists and technologists from the two companies working side-by-side, combining the Benevolent’s AI-driven drug discovery platform with AstraZeneca’s scientific expertise. 

What is IPF? 

IPF is a chronic and ultimately fatal disease that causes lung tissue to stiffen, leading to permanent lung scarring that makes it harder to breathe. As IPF progresses, patients often need oxygen and, in some cases, lung transplantation. With a median survival of ∼three years, the prognosis can be devastating, and there is a clear unmet need for better treatments.  

Official comments 

Dr Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer of BenevolentAI, said: “The cause of IPF is largely unknown and the exact mechanisms involved in the progression of IPF remain elusive. Our collaboration uses advanced AI to enable expert scientists to navigate this challenging disease landscape, and discover novel targets with the potential to treat the underlying causes and prevent disease progression. This second, important milestone in our collaboration with AstraZeneca is further evidence of how our Platform can deliver tangible scientific results in the most complex therapeutic areas.” 

Professor Maria Belvisi, SVP and Head of Research and Early Development, Respiratory and Immunology at AstraZeneca, said: “At AstraZeneca we aim to target the underlying disease drivers in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) to stop fibrosis in its tracks, promote tissue regeneration and enable people with IPF to live life without limits. Our ongoing collaboration with BenevolentAI has enabled us to leverage the world’s available scientific literature and our in-house experiments, all brought together through machine learning to identify previously unrecognised links. I’m proud that this collaboration has delivered the first artificial intelligence driven IPF target to AstraZeneca’s portfolio.”  


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