NVIDIA has announced a $50m private investment in public equity in tech-focused Recursion Pharmaceuticals to create artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted drug discovery models, sending Recursion’s stock to skyrocket.

This investment and partnership news was followed by a 116 % rise in Recursion’s stock price when markets opened on 12 July, compared to the previous day.

The investment is accompanied by plans for collaboration to distribute these using NVIDIA cloud services and follows the strategic acquisition of Cyclica and Valence to enhance Recursion’s machine-learning and AI capabilities.

This year, there has been an increased focus on using AI in drug discovery among other applications. Several companies have touted their reliance on AI, with Insilico Medicine’s AI-discovered drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis starting its Phase II trial. GlobalData analysts have identified more than 250 unique active drugs using terms such as “AI” or “machine learning” in their drug description in 2022, but observe that the use of AI in drug discovery is still in its infancy and is expected to mature in the coming years.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

Recursion plans to capitalise on this increased focus on AI and create and commercialise drug discovery models using BioNeMo, NVIDIA’s generative AI in drug discovery cloud service platform. The models will be trained on Recursion proprietary dataset using NVIDIA’s technology and expertise. These models will be used by Recursion internally and will be marketed on BioNeMo.

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By GlobalData

Recursion CEO Chris Gibson said: “With our powerful dataset and NVIDIA’s accelerated computing capabilities, we intend to create groundbreaking foundation models in biology and chemistry at a scale, unlike anything that has ever been released in the biological space.”

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang said: “Generative AI is a revolutionary tool to discover new medicines and treatment.”

Multiple partnerships between tech and pharmaceutical companies for using AI in drug development have been announced last year, including a partnership between Novo Nordisk and Microsoft to generate new scientific insights and create forecast models of atherosclerosis development risk.