Algorae Pharmaceuticals engages UNSW to establish AI platform for drug discovery
Algorae Pharmaceuticals (ASX: 1AI) has entered an agreement with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) to advance the development of its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) platform for the biopharmaceutical prediction of new drug candidates and to improve development outcomes.
The platform — known as Algorae Operating System, or AlgoraeOS — will build on an AI model already developed by the university’s data specialists and trained for pharmaceutical prediction.
AlgoraeOS will have predictive capabilities over all pharmaceutical drugs and therapeutic molecules of interest, however, it will encompass an innate specialisation in cannabinoid and cannabinoid combination drug targets.
It will be used to build up an AI-generated drug development pipeline for the company, with insights from the platform used to potentially hasten the development timeline for each candidate.
Algorae also intends to seek licensing, development and commercialisation partnerships over AI-generated insights and drug targets over time.
Identifying drug candidates
AlgoraeOS will harness complex data derived from a wide range of sources, including molecular screening profiles, structures and drug targets, as well as omics profiles for the purpose of identifying novel combination drug candidates.
The first version of AlgoraeOS will be delivered within six to nine months and be immediately capable of deriving insights for the company.
The system will evolve across iterative phases during the project’s duration by incorporating additional data to enhance the platform’s output magnitude and credibility.
Algorae chairman David Hainsworth said the UNSW partnership would have significant benefits for the company.
“We are delighted to partner with UNSW to advance our AI-enabled drug discovery and development platform… it has the capability to deliver superior expertise and computational infrastructure to this exciting project,” he said.
“We are particularly pleased to collaborate with principal investigator and associate professor Fatemeh Vafaee whose contribution to the field of artificial intelligence has received international recognition.”
‘Very powerful tool’
Algorae director Brad Dilkes said AI promised to become a “very powerful tool” to uncover major new insights into drugs and diseases.
“There are several multi-billion-dollar biopharmaceutical companies listed on the Nasdaq with foundations in their own specialised AI predictive platforms that ideate drug targets for their own development pipelines,” he said.
“Like these US based companies, Algorae will have two value-creating modalities in the AlgoraeOS AI platform and the drug targets it predicts. We may either develop the drug targets ourselves or consider licensing to third parties for development.”
Algorae has forecast that AI platforms will become increasingly influential in pharmaceutical research and development, presenting unmatched innovation and efficiency capabilities.
Emerging biopharmaceutical companies based in the US, such as Recursion, Relay Therapeutics and Exscientia, are underpinned by AI engines and have already conceived new clinical entities for pharmaceutical research.
Some have received strategic investments from big pharmaceutical companies wishing to exploit large data sets and AI for novel therapeutic candidates.
The directors of Algorae believe that it has recruited the best-credentialed team and facilities available in Australia to commence the development of a globally competitive AI biopharmaceutical predictive platform.
AlgoraeOS Project leader, Associate Professor Fatemeh Vafaee said combination therapies with synergistic effects represent a potent strategy for addressing the complexities of treating various diseases with AI technology.
“The discovery of these synergistic combinations often involves exploring a vast landscape of compound pairings which is hampered by practical constraints such as cost, feasibility, and complexity, limiting the scope of in vivo and in vitro experiments,” she said.
“In recent years, the field of pharmacology has witnessed remarkable advancements in leveraging AI techniques to conquer traditional restraints to pharmaceutical investigation.”
Algorae will retain 100% ownership rights to all intellectual property generated from the UNSW AI project.