Generate Biomedicines has signed a co-development and commercialisation agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to expedite the development of new protein therapeutics for oncology using generative AI.

Under the multi-year collaboration, the two parties will work together on the discovery and development of new protein therapies for up to five targets in advanced cancers, including small-cell and non-small-cell lung cancer.

The co-development effort will focus on optimised therapies that can quickly advance into proof-of-concept clinical trials.

The collaboration will bring together Generate’s platform-powered integrated machine-learning capabilities and experimental/wet lab capabilities, MD Anderson’s clinical research expertise and the translational research to advanCe therapeutics and innovation in oncology (which is known as TRACTION) platform’s translational research and drug development capabilities.

TRACTION is a part of the therapeutics discovery division of MD Anderson. The platform was developed to overcome traditional challenges in the discovery of oncology drugs by using an integrated translational biology engine. It enables innovative and collaborative research to rapidly bring new treatment options to patients.

MD Anderson TRACTION oncology research vice-president Timothy Heffernan stated: “Together with Generate Biomedicines, we aim to leverage rapid advancements in generative AI to develop new medicines that are purpose-built for those who do not benefit from existing treatments or who have drug-resistant cancers requiring new options.

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“By joining the Generate platform with our integrated translational research and drug development approach, we hope to successfully scale drug discovery and development in a way that has eluded traditional trial-and-error methods.”

Generate Biomedicines stated that the researchers in TRACTION and the MD Anderson research enterprise will draw on the Generate platform’s programmability and scalability to expedite drug development and inform clinical translation.

Costs related to the research and development of the therapies will be shared between Generate Biomedicines and MD Anderson, and the parties will share the income generated through commercialising the products developed from the partnership.

MD Anderson will also serve as the site, and will recommend lead investigators for the Phase I and II clinical trials of the product candidates.