Monday, July 15, 2024

Collaboration Between BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca Continues to Succeed with New Novel Target Added to Portfolio

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Collaboration between BenevolentAI, a pioneer in leveraging advanced AI to accelerate drug discovery, and AstraZeneca has reached a significant milestone. The partnership has resulted in the addition of a novel target for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to AstraZeneca’s discovery portfolio. This development marks the second target selected this year from the extended collaboration between the two companies, underscoring the ongoing positive progress in target identification within the biopharma industry.

The collaboration between BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca began in 2019, initially focusing on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic kidney disease. In January 2022, the partnership was expanded to include heart failure and SLE. The recent success in the extension phase, following last month’s announcement of a novel heart failure target entering AstraZeneca’s portfolio, demonstrates the versatility and effectiveness of the Benevolent Platform™ across various therapeutic areas.

Innovative Collaboration Between BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca Proves Effective in Identifying Novel Drug Targets

The strength of the collaboration lies in its innovative structure, which combines AstraZeneca’s scientific and disease-specific expertise with BenevolentAI’s AI-driven drug discovery platform and biomedical knowledge. This synergy has proven effective in identifying novel and robust targets. The 2022 extension of the collaboration included an upfront payment upon signing, research funding, as well as discovery, development, and commercial milestones. Additionally, tiered royalties on the net sales of any commercialized products were agreed upon.

SLE, commonly known as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. This results in the creation of autoantibodies that form immune complexes, leading to inflammation, pain, and tissue damage. In severe cases, the disease affects organs and joints, causing extreme fatigue, cognitive issues, and comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease. Lupus disproportionately impacts females and individuals of Asian, Black African, and Caribbean heritage.

Dr. Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer of BenevolentAI, expressed her satisfaction with the progress: “Following our recent success in the area of heart failure, I’m delighted that AstraZeneca has selected a novel target for SLE to enter its portfolio. The continued, fruitful efforts of our two companies working in collaboration will help bring potential new therapeutic options to lupus patients, whose quality of life is often severely limited by the disease.”


Collaboration with BenevolentAI Enhances AstraZeneca’s Efforts to Discover Novel Lupus Treatments

Prof. Maria Belvisi, SVP and Head of Research and Early Development Respiratory and Immunology at AstraZeneca, emphasized the importance of this collaboration: “Our aim is to lead in lupus by continuing to discover and develop novel treatments that push the efficacy ceiling for patients, allowing more people to achieve remission. By combining our immunology disease area expertise and BenevolentAI’s AI-driven discovery platform, we are increasing our ability to identify new targets based on patient insights, complementing our portfolio of potential treatments for this debilitating disease.”

The success of this collaboration highlights the transformative potential of combining AI technology with traditional biomedical research. BenevolentAI’s platform enables the rapid identification of novel drug targets by analyzing vast amounts of biomedical data and uncovering previously unknown connections. This capability is critical in diseases like SLE, where complex and multifactorial mechanisms are at play.

Looking forward, the continued success of the BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca collaboration sets a precedent for future AI-driven drug discovery initiatives. As the partnership progresses, it is expected to yield more novel targets and therapeutic options, potentially revolutionizing treatment approaches for various diseases. The ongoing collaboration not only enhances AstraZeneca’s pipeline but also paves the way for more efficient and effective drug development processes in the broader biopharma industry.

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In conclusion, the addition of a novel target for SLE to AstraZeneca’s discovery portfolio is a testament to the efficacy of the collaborative efforts between BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca. This milestone reinforces the potential of AI-driven platforms in accelerating drug discovery and improving patient outcomes. As the partnership continues to thrive, it promises to bring new hope to patients suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases like lupus, highlighting the importance of innovative approaches in modern medicine.


Resource: Business Wire, June 25, 2024

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