BenevolentAI achieves third milestone with AstraZeneca

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AstraZeneca has identified an additional target for its idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) pipeline using an AI system designed by drug discovery company BenevolentAI.

It is now the third target from that collaboration that has been identified using BenevolentAI’s platform. AstraZeneca is using the company’s Benevolent Platform across two disease areas – IPF and chronic kidney disease – to identify potential targets. The latest discovery builds upon the recent extension of the collaboration with AstraZeneca to include two new disease areas, systemic lupus erythematosus and heart failure, signed in January 2022.

The Benevolent Platform is a disease-agnostic AI-enabled drug discovery platform that is capable of generating novel targets at scale. As part of the collaboration, BenevolentAI integrated AstraZeneca’s data into its biomedical Knowledge Graph, which includes proprietary, public and licensed data from a variety of sources. BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca scientists work side-by-side, using the platform and Knowledge Graph to interrogate the underlying mechanisms of IPF, to frame and test hypotheses and rapidly identify novel targets.

Official comments

Professor Maria Belvisi, SVP and Head of Research and Early Development, Respiratory and Immunology at AstraZeneca said: “IPF is a devastating disease with median survival of around 3 years and there is a serious need for better treatment options. At AstraZeneca, we are continuously striving to improve our R&D productivity in order to quickly bring potentially innovative treatments to complex diseases such as IPF. Our partnership with BenevolentAI furthers our commitment and we are proud to deliver a second novel target for IPF to our portfolio.”

Dr Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer at BenevolentAI added: “Target identification is an essential first step in the drug discovery pipeline, and where we believe the Benevolent Platform can make the biggest impact. Our AI-enabled approach empowers scientists to explore all the available evidence to unravel the enormous complexity of biological systems and the underlying mechanisms of disease. By reaching this third milestone, we have further validated the ability of BenevolentAI’s disease agnostic platform to identify novel targets and deliver tangible scientific results for complex and debilitating conditions such as IPF.”

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