SAN BRUNO, Calif.—June has started on a busy note for Numerate Inc., a computational drug design company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) at cloud scale in small-molecule drug discovery, as the company has announced partnerships with two industry giants within a week.
The most recent deal is a multi-year agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. to identify and deliver a number of clinical candidates. Per the terms of the agreement, Numerate will lead drug discovery programs to identify clinical candidates in Takeda's core therapeutic areas, which includes oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system disorders. While no financial terms were released, Numerate did note in a press release that the deal includes “a combination of milestone payments and royalties that reflect the value of the clinical candidates being delivered.”
“We are excited to partner with Numerate. Numerate has established an impressive track record of leveraging their AI platform to overcome drug design challenges, both for its own pipeline and in pharma/biotech collaborations,” David Weitz, head of Takeda California and Global Research Externalization, said in a press release. “By having Numerate select projects that align with Takeda’s strategy, we expect the partnership to yield multiple assets that Takeda can develop into truly transformative medicines for patients.”
Numerate explains on its site that its platform enables faster, more efficient lead optimization/candidate identification, as well as predictive ADME models, adding that “Our approach can capture the non-linearities inherent in ADME due to the interplay of physical and biological assay structure, biochemical interactions and physicochemical properties. We can model many of the most important ADME properties, including intestinal absorption, active efflux pumping and metabolic stability. Our ADME models outperform the best methods in the literature, increasing accuracy as the drug program moves forward.”
“This is an ideal arrangement for Numerate because our team will be working largely independently while having the opportunity to leverage Takeda’s global experience, therapeutic area insights and unique R&D capabilities,” commented Guido Lanza, president and CEO of Numerate. “We expect to produce multiple clinical candidates, while also continuing to refine, validate and expand our proprietary AI-driven platform as we work across a broad range of target types and drug design challenges.”
Several days before that announcement, on June 9, Numerate shared news of a collaboration with Servier for the design of small-molecule modulators of the ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2), which has been highlighted as playing a role in cardiovascular diseases and being difficult to drug. Dysfunction of this receptor is linked with the defects in calcium handling that typify cardiovascular diseases. As noted on GeneCards.org, “Mutations in this gene are associated with stress-induced polymorphic ventricular tachycardia and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.”
Thus far, Numerate has identified several novel RyR2 modulators. The collaboration between Numerate and Servier includes modeling all aspects of small-molecule drug discovery, leveraging available chemical and biological data and applying Numerate’s technology. Servier has licensed Numerate’s RyR2 program, including the novel compounds that have been identified. Numerate will be responsible for supporting efforts in assay development, lead design and optimization. No financial details were released.
“Numerate’s platform has literally cracked the code on rapidly identifying diverse, potent, and functionally active modulators of the ryanodine receptor,” said Dr. Isabelle Tupinon-Mathieu, vice president of Research and Development and Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolism Therapeutic Innovation Poles at Servier. “Our collaboration will leverage our proprietary data to accelerate the design of new and efficient molecules and advance our cardiovascular program toward clinical development.”