Algorae Pharmaceuticals to use AI platform to build up drug candidate pipeline

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By Colin Hay - 
Algorae Pharmaceuticals ASX 1AI AI platform drug candidate pipeline medicine

Algorae Pharmaceuticals (ASX: 1AI) has taken big strides in the December quarter to grow out its artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery and development platform.

Being built in collaboration with AI academics from the University of NSW (UNSW), Algorae also achieved CSIRO funding for PhD candidate staff to assist in its development.

Algorae says that the AI platform – called Algorae Operating System (AlgoraeOS) – will predict combination drug targets for Algorae to add projects to its own novel drug development pipeline.

Specifically, the company plans to use AlgoraeOS to predict synergistic drug combinations using machine learning, deep learning and neural network algorithms over extensive and multi-disciplinary scientific databases.

Data on past and present registered drugs and other molecules are being included in the databases to maximise the potential combinations for any and all medical conditions.

The first version of AlgoraeOS will be available in Q2 or Q3 of CY2024, utilising Australia’s fastest array of supercomputers at the UNSW Data Science Hub (uDASH).

Algorae retains 100% ownership rights to all project intellectual property, including synergistic combination drug targets.

Combination pharmaceuticals

Combination drugs involve the administration of two or more active pharmaceutical ingredients in a single dosage form.

The rise in the popularity of combination drugs in drug development can be attributed to various factors including potentially enhanced therapeutic outcomes and accelerated development and approval timelines.

AlgoraeOS also encompasses a specialisation in predicting the therapeutic utility of cannabinoid combination drug targets – a key differentiating aspect of the platform to those being developed by international peer companies

Companies listed on the Nasdaq that employ an AI-enhanced drug development business model include Relay Therapeutics, Recursion Pharmaceuticals and AbCellera Biologics, all of which have market capitalisations exceeding US$1 billion.

Like some of their peer companies, Algorae has stated that it will also seek licensing, development and commercialisation partnerships over AI-generated drug targets and other insights generated by AlgoraeOS.

Dementia Candidate

Apart from the AI-enabled platform, Algorae has two combination drug candidates under development.

Preclinical studies associated with the company’s AI-116 dementia candidate comprising a cannabinoid and another off-patent pharmaceutical drug continued at La Trobe University during the quarter.

The studies employ state-of-the-art experimental techniques expected to provide valuable insights into the mechanism of action of AI-116.

Importantly, for the veracity of the study, AI-116 is being compared to an existing class of drugs used to treat dementia to provide insights into its viability as a candidate.

The global dementia drugs market size was valued at more than US$8.7b in 2021 and is projected to reach US$19.7b by 2031.

Cardiovascular disease candidate

Also during the quarter, Algorae furthered preclinical studies on its cannabinoid-based combination drug AI-168 in preclinical cardiovascular models.

Algorae will also compare the efficacy of AI-168 to an existing class of drugs used to treat CVDs.

Algorae has filed a provisional patent application over AI-168 as the potential market for new drugs targeting CVDs is substantial due to global population aging and lifestyle related cardiovascular risk factors.