InveniAI and Kyowa Kirin partner on target discovery

The companies have expanded an existing collaboration to find novel targets

January 22, 2021
Mel J. Yeates
InveniAI and Kyowa Kirin partner on target discovery

GUILFORD, Conn. & TOKYO—InveniAI and Kyowa Kirin recently reported an expansion of a collaboration agreement, using InveniAI’s AI platform AlphaMeld to identify, evaluate, and optimize targets for Kyowa Kirin’s antibody technology. Under the terms of the collaboration, InveniAI will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, development and commercial milestones, and royalties.

“AlphaMeld is primed with data sets that have been curated and connected for over a decade and with more than 500 disease-specific algorithms that place the hypothesis in the context of an existing pipeline and standard of care,” states Dr. Krishnan Nandabalan, president and CEO of InveniAI. “The platform is part of a highly differentiated, industry-leading, and first-of-its-kind AI Innovation Lab that integrates AlphaMeld and a team of discovery, translational, clinical, commercial, data science, AI, and IT domain experts ... for the discovery of novel therapeutic solutions, products, and technologies at unprecedented speed, lower cost, and with a higher likelihood of success.”

“AlphaMeld’s AI and disease-specific algorithms can create network association maps. The AI and machine learning process of target discovery begins with human domain experts defining the phenotype and null hypothesis. A comprehensive association network map is created to prioritize targets and associated drugs and diseases/symptoms that reveal various relationships. The association network map is generated based on data for 20,000 genes, disease pathways, cell types, diseases, symptoms, tissues, and 44,000 drugs,” Nandabalan notes. “Through AI-powered analytics and human expert curation, targets can be identified with and without associated drugs that have the potential to be leveraged for therapeutic development in combination or alone.”

InveniAI and Kyowa Kirin have been collaborating since 2018, using AlphaMeld to expand Kyowa Kirin’s existing therapeutic pipeline into new disease indications. With this expansion of the agreement, Kyowa Kirin will now be able to use AlphaMeld for novel target discovery and validation.

Kyowa Kirin aims to generate a clinical pipeline of therapeutic antibodies that addresses the unmet needs of patients across multiple diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Kyowa Kirin will select multiple programs for advancement into clinical development, although the company hasn’t disclosed any particular disease indication focus as of yet.

“We are thrilled to partner with InveniAI to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to comprehensively identify viable connections between novel targets and diseases at unprecedented scale and speed,” added Dr. Yoshifumi Torii, head of R&D for Kyowa Kirin. “The expansion of the agreement will allow us to prioritize and advance our programs into clinical development with the highest probability of success while minimizing time and cost.”

“We are now standing at the intersection of state-of-the-art biotechnology and digital technology,” Torii tells DDN. “Under the collaboration, both scientists work together interactively to address the unmet medical needs of people worldwide lying at the intersection of the two. The collaboration will unlock extraordinary opportunities, and deliver new insights and capabilities previously unattainable in the biopharmaceutical industry.”

“AlphaMeld has applications in the biopharma industry from discovery to commercialization, including target discovery and validation, indication optimization for early-stage programs and discontinued programs, and biomarker discovery and patient selection. InveniAI’s Lab has seen the first industry validation where a candidate has successfully completed a Phase 3 trial via our sister company, Bioxcel Therapeutics, and is on track for an NDA submission by Q1 of 2021,” points out Nandabalan. “In addition, we have over 10 programs with collaborators that are in various stages of clinical development and active clinical trials.”

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