AI and antibodies align
Three-year collaboration capitalizes on AI to develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies
NANTES, France—Last month, OSE Immunotherapeutics SA reported a new collaboration agreement with MAbSilico, which is based in Tours, France. The companies plan to use artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions for therapeutic antibody drug development.
“It is a pleasure to start this collaboration with one of the top French biotechs. This partnership demonstrates the need to [secure] new AI-based solutions for antibody drug discovery,” stated Vincent Puard, CEO of MAbSilico. “We believe that with the trust and collaboration of OSE, we will accelerate the release of our software and new technologies.”
According to Dr. Nicolas Poirier, chief scientific officer of OSE Immunotherapeutics, “I initiated testing of MAbSilico’s AI-based solutions at the end of 2019, leading up to the signature of the recent collaboration agreement which marks the official start of the partnership for both companies. Vincent Puard, co-founder and CEO of MAbSilico, and I were both integral initiating the agreement, and had already met and interacted previously within the frame of our regular work activities in the development of therapeutic antibodies.”
Poirier, who is is also on the scientific committee of MabSilico, notes that OSE Immunotherapeutics and MAbSilico have previously worked together on epitope mapping studies before the collaboration.
OSE Immunotherapeutics plans to incorporate problem-solving solutions like AI for the development of new monoclonal antibodies. MAbSilico solutions have already been validated by OSE Immunotherapeutics and will be used for six antibody programs, including novel bispecific antibodies. AI and numerical simulation can guide therapeutic antibody discovery, help reduce the risk of failure and accelerate the preclinical development process of these drug candidates.
“This collaboration with OSE will potentially enhance MAbSilico’s exposure in implementing computational solutions for the development of therapeutic antibodies—bio-drugs used in an increasing number of pathologies, including oncology. This is a way for MAbSilico to improve their software suite in order to better address the current issues in identifying and developing antibodies,” adds Poirier. “In parallel, thanks to AI solutions, OSE Immunotherapeutics will improve the development of antibodies to 1) upgrade the humanization process, 2) model epitopes, and 3) to be able to predict the structural impact of mutations, as well as 4) the impact of the antibody’s affinity for its target.”
While all of MAbSilico’s commercialized solutions are included in this three-year agreement, OSE Immunotherapeutics will also gain early access to MAbSilico’s SaaS (Software as a Service) and technologies in development, including those for the conception of therapeutic antibodies optimized for bioproduction. OSE Immunotherapeutics will provide internal data to MAbSilico in order to feed their algorithms in development, and to hopefully deliver new technology more quickly.
“The benefit for OSE is to use MAbSilico’s SaaS directly on OSE in-house computer modeling systems and thus to predict the impact of mutations, and to model our selected epitopes as we see fit. As a result of the feedback from our analyses, MAbSilico will improve its software and/or interface,” Poirier points out.
He notes that within the collaboration, OSE has several short- and long-term projects in mind. These include epitope mapping studies, epitope binning and the identification of new mutants for potential new drug targets.
“Both OSE and MAbSilico are delighted with this collaboration, which will enable the development of first-in-class products in immuno-oncology and autoimmune diseases to benefit patients in need, while accelerating the release of improved AI-based software and improving these new technologies,” concludes Poirier.