British artificial intelligence (AI) company BenevolentAI has signed an exclusive license for a series of clinical-stage drug candidates with Janssen Pharmaceutica (Janssen), one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

The agreement is seen as BenevolentAI’s effort to improve its development process using artificial technology in order to provide improved medicines directed to the right patients.

Under the agreement, BenevolentAI will assume the exclusive right to develop, manufacture and commercialise Janssen’s novel clinical stage drug candidates in all their indications and in all territories.

"We are delighted to have acquired rights to these compounds under a license agreement from Janssen."

The agreement will also enable BenevolentAI scientists to assess the small molecule compounds using their artificial intelligence technology and enhance its product pipeline.

The company is planning to initiate late-stage Phase IIb clinical trials next year.

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BenevolentAI Bio CEO and BenevolentAI board director Jackie Hunter said: "We are delighted to have acquired rights to these compounds under a license agreement from Janssen.

“The agreement adds further depth to our clinical and pre-clinical development pipeline and marks a very exciting time for the role of artificial intelligence to benefit scientific discovery and humanity.

“The compounds come with a wealth of clinical and biological data that enables BenevolentAI to have further insights into the biology of diseases. Securing these novel clinical drug candidates perfectly aligns with our strategy of developing first-in-class and best-in-class stratified medicines to help patients with high unmet needs."