BioMed X has entered a research partnership with Sanofi to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for drug development.

Under the joint research project, a new research team will be set up at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany.

This team will focus on creating a versatile computational platform that can precisely forecast the first-in-class drug candidates’ efficacy in virtual patient groups.

The companies will jointly create a virtual patient engine for the drug candidates’ clinical translation.

The partnership intends to address a 90% failure rate of new therapy candidates in clinical development, which is a key bottleneck of the pharmaceutical industry. 

For the project, deep datasets and capabilities of Sanofi will be leveraged to potentially transform the practice of medicine using digital data and AI.

As proof-of-concept (PoC), chronic immune-mediated diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will be the focus areas of the preliminary model.

BioMed X Institute founder and managing director Christian Tidona said: “Our new collaboration with Sanofi allows us to further extend our data science and AI expertise in Heidelberg, where we have developed an ideal incubation environment for biomedical innovation at the interface between academia and industry.”

The companies will select a varied group of skilled researchers for the project.

The new group will become part of the 11 research teams at the BioMed X Institute, currently utilising complicated human ex-vivo models and data science in oncology, immunology, and neuroscience regions.

Sanofi Research global head and chief scientific officer Frank Nestle said: “This groundbreaking research collaboration will allow us to partner with scientists with unique computational skills and diverse capabilities that will help us to achieve our goals of bringing vital treatments to patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. 

“This collaboration will be instrumental for advancing with our core mission of transforming drug discovery and development through the application of AI-based modelling and simulation.”

The latest development comes after Sanofi US and Provention Bio  entered a co-promotion agreement to launch the latter’s teplizumab for the delay in the onset of clinical type 1 diabetes.