Janssen Pharmaceutica has initiated a collaboration agreement to use Iktos’ artificial intelligence (AI) technology to accelerate small molecule drug discovery.

Under the collaboration, Janssen will implement Iktos’ virtual design technology to several of its projects.

The companies will partner to develop applications using Iktos’s knowledge in deep generative models and Janssen’s expertise in AI-enabled prediction of small molecule activities.

Iktos CEO Yann Gaston-Mathé said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce a strategic collaboration with Janssen, one of the largest pharma companies in the world, and highly respected for the quality of their science and their visionary perspective regarding the use of big data and machine learning to progress pharma R&D efficiency.

“Iktos has been a pioneer in the application of generative models for drug discovery and is emerging as a world leader.”

“It is a major recognition for Iktos to be selected by Janssen as a partner for implementation and development of generative modelling technology for new drug design.”

Iktos leverages deep generative models to develop new technology for in silico drug design, which has the potential to enable vast improvements in discovery workflows.

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The company recently announced collaborations with several biopharmaceutical companies to accelerate the design of promising compounds.

By the middle of this year, Iktos is planning to release a beta version of its Makya software as a service (SaaS) platform.

Gaston-Mathé further added: “Iktos has been a pioneer in the application of generative models for drug discovery and is emerging as a world leader in a technology that has the potential to disrupt the way new therapeutics are designed.”

Janssen scientists have found a new way to leverage AI using computer systems to perform certain tasks that normally require human intelligence, to help accelerate the drug discovery process.