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Applying artificial intelligence in the search for new drugs

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London, 11 April 2017 – BenevolentAI, a British artificial intelligence company, today announced that it has partnered with MRC Technology (MRCT), a medical research charity, to explore drug discovery initiatives in the field of small molecules and antibodies.

The two-year agreement sees BenevolentAI combine the power of its unique technology in the application of AI for drug discovery with MRCT’s expertise in translating novel exciting biology into lead stage therapeutic assets.

Both organisations will respectively share confidential molecular disease targets and collaborate to develop them into potential new drugs.  This will be done in one of two ways:

  1. BenevolentAI will share disease targets produced by its technology with MRCT who will then undertake the complex chemistry to create a lead compound. BenevolentAI will then undertake further preclinical and clinical development of the compound.
  2. MRCT will run molecules or antibodies that it believes may hit a target through BenevolentAI’s technology platform to validate. If validation is confirmed, MRCT will either continue to partner with BenevolentAI or work with another partner to develop the target further.

Jackie Hunter, CEO of BenevolentBio, a subsidiary of BenevolentAI commented: “The combination of our technology and R&D experience, together with MRCT’s screening and hit to lead capabilities, is powerful.  It’s a novel model and I believe that our two organisations’ complimentary skills and capabilities will enable the search for, and development of, new medicines to proceed much more quickly.”

Dr Justin Bryans, Director, Drug Discovery, MRC Technology commented: “As a charity we are always eager to pursue opportunities that can lead to new treatments for patients. Exploring promising targets via BenevolentAI’s data mining and insight is an exciting new area for us and we hope to really advance medical science through our collaboration.”

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