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In a report, The Landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) In The Pharmaceutical Research, the community of AI-driven companies in biotech is represented by more than 340 players, focusing on a wide scale of applications from target discovery to clinics. A few companies managed to build sophisticated AI-driven end-to-end drug discovery platforms, allowing them to advance their business faster than competitors. In the last three years, several such companies performed successful IPOs.
The implementation of AI into drug discovery is happening gradually and has already demonstrated multiple advantages, such as accelerated target identification, optimized small molecules, biologics design, better management of clinical trials, and so on. Nowadays, AI helps to not only significantly cut down the R&D costs but also do things that are believed to be impossible using just human brain power. Such tasks might include drug repurposing, novel target identification for the complex nets of molecular pathways, or simulation of a molecule’s toxicity in the human body.
Below we summarize some of the public companies with AI-powered platforms.
Exscientia PLC (NASDAQ: EXAI)
Oxford-based clinical-stage biotech Exscientia focuses on drug discovery of small molecules for various therapeutic indications using its patient-first AI-driven platform CentaurAI. Founded in 2012, the company went on IPO in October 2021, banking a total of $510.4M.
Today, Exscientia possesses multiple drug candidates in the early drug discovery phase -- in precision cancer therapy, immunology and inflammation, anti-infectives, and others. One of their candidates in precision cancer therapy reached the Phase I clinical study.
With its end-to-end drug discovery platform, Exscientia offers algorithms for target selection, using genetic data, textual data (research articles, patents), patient data, and multiple other data types, as well as results of sophisticated experimental methods, such as high content screening and surface plasmon resonance. Additionally, the company’s artificial intelligence-based platform can effectively design and optimize small molecule drugs, leveraging target-driven pharmacology, ADME, 3D structure fingerprints, and other features. Last but not least, Exscientia's AI-driven platform is able to anticipate the effectiveness of cancer therapy in the clinic, while also matching the drug with the most relevant patient group.
AbCellera Biologics Inc (NASDAQ: ABCL)
AbCellera is a Vancouver-based biotech company, which develops antibody therapeutics. Founded in 2012, the company went public in December 2020 with a record-setting $555.5M IPO.
They focus on searching and analyzing the immune systems to find potential antibodies, then outsourcing their initial findings to their partners for further drug discovery. AbCellera also uses humanized antibody platforms to assess various functional modalities of the potential therapeutic molecules.
The company owns sequencing technologies with functional data from single B-cells, which enables researchers to increase the number of antibody candidates. The company offers customized single-cell assays, which help to uncover relevant antibody properties, such as specificity, cross-reactivity, affinity, and others. Such assays generate significant amounts of multimodal and multidimensional data, which AbCellera handles with their proprietary antibody visualization software Celium. After selecting the most promising leads by the number of various criteria, computational protein engineering can be used to optimize antibodies, while also considering the natural antibodies' diversity.
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