Iktos teams up with Ono Pharmaceuticals on AI project  

Artificial intelligence (AI) company Iktos has announced a collaboration with Ono Pharmaceuticals focused on expediting drug discovery for pre-clinical candidates.  

The collaboration will see Iktos apply its de novo ligand and structure-based generative modelling technologies and software Makaya to complement Ono’s drug discovery capabilities. More so, Iktos will supply its AI-based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates and to identify additional novel chemical matter with suitable properties for undisclosed Ono’s drug discovery programmes. 

Iktos’ AI technology is based on deep generative models and has been designed to bring new insights and directions into the drug discovery process. The technology works by automatically designing virtual novel molecules with all the characteristics of a successful drug molecule. The company hopes that this approach will present a solution to the challenge or rapidly identifying molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. 

Under the agreement Ono will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise small molecule compounds discovered in the collaboration. Iktos will receive research funding and other payments based off certain milestone achievements.  

Official comments 

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Ono, a leading pharmaceutical company based in Japan, and proud to announce our first collaboration deal with a Japanese pharma company,” said Yann Gaston-Mathé, Co-founder and CEO of Iktos. “Our ultimate objective is to expedite drug discovery and achieve time and cost efficiencies for our collaborators by using Iktos’s proprietary AI platform and know-how. We are confident that together we will be able to identify promising novel chemical matter and solve complex multiparametric optimisation problems for Ono’s drug discovery programmes. We are committed to tackle challenging problems alongside our collaborators where we can demonstrate value generation for new and on-going drug discovery projects.” 

“Iktos has excellent artificial intelligence technology and platform in drug discovery,” said Toichi Takino, Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director, Discovery & Research of Ono. “Through this drug discovery collaboration, we are excited to work with Iktos to identify and develop the next generation of innovative treatments, leading to further expansion of our development pipeline.” 


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