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March 20, 2019updated 23 Dec 2019 10:54am

Ono and twoXAR form AI-based drug discovery alliance

Ono Pharmaceutical has partnered with twoXAR, an AI-driven biopharmaceutical firm, to discover and develop new treatments for neurological disease.

Japan-based Ono Pharmaceutical has partnered with twoXAR, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven biopharmaceutical firm, to discover and develop new treatments for an undisclosed neurological disease.

The drug discovery research alliance will leverage twoXAR’s unique technology, which uses its computational platform to identify potential drug candidates, de-risk opportunities through pre-clinical studies, and progress drug product candidates through industry partnerships.

In this incidence, it will be working towards the identification of a set of lead compounds which demonstrate novel mechanisms of action.

These compounds will be further optimised by Ono for potential drug candidates.

In addition, twoXAR will predict a series of hypotheses which would indicate the safety and efficacy of such lead compounds for the therapy.

“We believe that we can increase the speed and probability of success in discovering and developing innovative first-in-class drugs to expand our neurological disease pipeline.”

Based on the hypotheses, the partners will then choose multiple compounds from this set to test for further validation.

Ono Pharmaceutical Discovery & Research corporate officer/executive director Toichi Takino said: “We highly value twoXAR’s approach to help drug discovery because it enables rapid identification and in vitro and in vivo efficacy validation of new lead compounds.

“By combining Ono’s drug discovery experience and twoXAR’s AI technology, we believe that we can increase the speed and probability of success in discovering and developing innovative first-in-class drugs to expand our neurological disease pipeline.”

As part of the deal, Ono will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise the compounds resulting from the collaboration.

It will pay research and licence fees along with development and sales milestones to twoXAR.

twoXAR co-founder and CEO Andrew Radin said: “twoXAR continues to grow its drug development partnerships internationally and this collaboration with Ono represents our second with a globally-operating, Japan-headquartered partner.”

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