London and Cambridge, UK 23 January 2018 – LifeArc®, the UK-based medical research charity and the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge today announced a new partnership to identify and validate new drug targets in immuno-oncology and respiratory diseases. Under this new collaborative project, cutting-edge machine learning approaches will be developed, validated and integrated into drug discovery processes to identify novel therapeutic targets, stratify patient populations and predict efficacy of new and existing drugs.
Combining the drug discovery expertise of LifeArc with the machine-learning and bioinformatics expertise of the Milner Therapeutics Institute will facilitate the identification and selection of novel targets for drug discovery. Data generated will enhance the design of key experiments to validate and prioritise targets. Scientists involved in this project will be co-located at LifeArc and the Milner Therapeutics Institute to take full advantage of both environments.
Prof Tony Kouzarides, Director of the Milner Therapeutics Institute said: “We are delighted to be working closely with LifeArc in applying artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches to drug discovery. There is a lot of interest in these methods for the potential benefit patients. The drug discovery insight and investment from LifeArc will be important in realising this.”
Dr Justin Bryans, Executive Director, Drug Discovery at LifeArc said: “Drug discovery is a long and risky process and our collaboration with the Milner Therapeutics Institute represents a powerful way to unlock new potential approaches to help patients. We are excited about the opportunity to work at the interface of drug discovery and AI and apply the knowledge in this field to help expedite the delivery of new treatments to patients.”
The Milner Therapeutics Institute and LifeArc are seeking academic and industrial partners to work in all therapeutic areas. For further information on how to collaborate please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
About Milner Therapeutics Institute
The Milner Therapeutics Institute is a fully integrated Institute of the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, UK. The Milner Therapeutics Institute has an outreach programme which consists of major pharmaceutical companies (Astex, AstraZeneca, Elysium Health, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson Innovation, Shionogi, Pfizer), academic centres (University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute and Sanger Institute), affiliated institutions (14 academic institutions internationally), venture capital companies and an
affiliated partnership scheme which engages small and medium size companies that are technology or service providers or have drug development pipelines themselves. There are 39 Affiliated companies including Charles River Laboratories, Amgen and Promega. For more information please see the website www.milner.cam.ac.uk.
LifeArc is a medical research charity with a 25 year legacy of helping scientists and organisations turn their research into treatments and diagnostics for patients. The new name reflects the charity’s purpose: to be the arc or bridge between research and improving patients’ lives.
LifeArc is pioneering new ways to turn great science into greater patient impact. It brings together a network of partners to tackle specific diseases and directly funds academic and early stage research.
So far, LifeArc’s work has helped to develop four drugs (Keytruda®, Actemra®, Tysabri® and Entyvio®) and a test for antimicrobial resistance.