Some of the earliest connections Alex Zhavoronkov has built for his AI shop at Insilico Medicine involves marrying anti-aging and AI research, two of the buzziest areas in drug development. He’s now doubling down on it with a new R&D partnership with “young blood” startup Elevian.
The collaboration is aimed at developing oral medications targeting the GDF11, or growth differentiation factor 11, pathway and associated targets — a concept that Elevian has been working on since inception. Elevian is supplying the biological and structural target data that Insilico will use to identify small molecules via its generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning (RL) AI technologies.
Drawing inspiration from existing libraries of compounds — to be screened virtually and biologically — the scientists will then build (virtual) compound candidates to be synthesized by WuXi AppTec, an early collaborator and backer of Insilico.
The new partners share a connection in Peter Diamandis’ — of X Prize fame — BOLD Capital Partners, which invested in both companies.
In a similar deal inked last August, Insilico was recruited to develop tech out of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging on behalf of Napa Therapeutics, a spinout of the billionaire-backed startup Juvenescence (and another Insilico investor). The work is in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) metabolism, with Napa holding rights to the tech and IP from the institute.
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