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Cambridge MedChem Consulting

artificial intelligence

Atomwise AIMS awards

AIMS-Infographic_Spring2019@0,33x-2 (1)

I suspect many will have noticed the recent announcement of the Early Results in Drug Discovery Partnership with AI Biotech Company. These are the first results of the Atomwise AIMS awards:

The researchers have been using Atomwise’s AI-powered in silico screening technology to develop therapeutic treatments for, among others, certain types of strokes, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and an infection that causes reproductive failure in pigs.

The AIMS award program is a great opportunity for university research scientists to easily access AI-assisted structure-based virtual screening technology:

  • Customized small molecule virtual screen using AtomNet™ technology
  • 72 small molecules predicted to bind to a specific target protein – QC verified by mass spectrophotometry, resuspended and diluted to a convenient concentration, aliquoted into microtiter plates, and delivered at no cost to the researcher
  • Support from Atomwise’s medicinal chemists and structural biologists
  • Opportunity to receive up to $30K USD to subsidize assay work

If you have a target protein with an X-ray crystal, Cryo-EM, or NMR structure, or with close sequence homology to a protein with available structures, and an assay in place to evaluate 72 potential hits, then you should consider applying.

Full details are on the AIMs awards page and the closing date is 29 April 2019.



Encouraging early results for the drug delaying onset of Motor Neurone discovered by artificial intelligence

Motor neurone disease (MND) describes a group of diseases that affect the nerves (motor neurones) in the brain and spinal cord, is is likely that there are multiple molecular targets. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease is the most common form of MND. Edaravone was recently approved for the treatment of ALS but the mechanism is unknown. It is a free radical scavenger and oxidative stress has been hypothesised to be part of the process that kills neurones in people with ALS. However new treatments are urgently needed.

For this reason I was particularly interested to read about a potential novel treatment for ALS arising from work between Benevolnet.ai and Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.

The study, led by Dr. Richard Mead and Dr. Laura Ferraiuolo at SITraN, assessed the efficacy of a drug candidate proposed by BenevolentAI's artificial Intelligence technology for Motor Neuron Disease (MND), also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). SITraN found there are significant and reproducible indications that the drug prevents the death of motor neurones in patient cell models, and delayed the onset of the disease in the gold standard model of ALS…Dr. Richard Mead of SITraN commented: "This is an exciting development in our research for a treatment for ALS. BenevolentAI came to us with some newly identified compounds discovered by their technology - two of which were new to us in the field and, following this research, are now looking very promising. Our plan now is to conduct further detailed testing and continue to quickly progress towards a potential treatment for ALS."

SITraN expect to publish an abstract at the Motor Neurone Disease Association 28th International Symposium in Boston in December 2017.