Sanofi signs another AI Alliance, this time in partnership with Insilico Medicine - MedCity News

Sanofi is an active player in the field of artificial intelligence, which is an attempt to strengthen its capabilities in drug discovery and development. Insilico Medicine is now the pharmaceutical giant’s newest AI partner, following previous deals reached with Owkin and Exscientia.

The Insilico Agreement announced Tuesday calls for Sanofi to pay up to $21.5 million to start the alliance, an amount that includes an upfront payment and target nomination fees. Sanofi can use Insilico’s Pharma.AI technology platform and its scientists to advance lead therapeutic compounds to the development stage. The therapeutic area or areas covered by the deal were not disclosed, but the companies said the agreement covers up to six new targets. Research, development and sales could reach $1.2 billion. Insilico will also earn royalties on sales of any products resulting from the alliance.

Insilico, which maintains operations in both New York and Hong Kong, says its technology analyzes data to detect signs of disease and identify promising targets for molecules that already exist or new ones that can be designed. It aims to accelerate three areas of drug development: identifying disease targets, generating new molecular data, and predicting clinical trial outcomes.

Insilico’s in-house process spans more than 30 programs targeting more than 20 targets in fibrosis, oncology and immunology. The company’s flagship in-house program has reached Phase 1 testing for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Larger companies have also turned to Insilico’s capabilities to advance their drug research. Disclosed partners include Taisho Pharmaceutical, Astellas Pharmaand Boehringer Ingelheim.

Sanofi has spread its bets in AI-assisted drug discovery and research. It initially began working with Exscientia in 2016 in a partnership focused on metabolic diseases. This research led to a bispecific small molecule that targets two different targets for applications in inflammation and fibrosis. Earlier this year, Sanofi paid Exscientia $100 million upfront to launch another alliance focused on immunology and cancer. Another $5.2 billion is related to achieving milestones. The deal covers up to 15 small molecules in oncology and immunology.

With Owkin last year, Sanofi made a $180 million capital investment in this AI-focused biotech. The pharmaceutical giant also paid $90 million to start a three-year alliance focused on oncology. Owkin may receive additional payments for research. Details of the potential principal payments were not disclosed.

Changchun Xio, head of China research at Sanofi, said in a prepared statement that the collaboration with Insilico will boost efforts to open the Sanofi Institute for Biomedical Research, the pharmaceutical giant’s research and development center in China.

Photo: Valery Brozhinsky, Getty Images

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