AstraZeneca to ‘transform’ drug design with DeepMatter collaboration

Bayer & Exscientia collaborate to leverage AI in drug discovery
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Gorodenkoff

AstraZeneca is partnering with UK software company, DeepMatter, to “transform” drug design using innovative digital technologies.

Scientists from both organisations will work together to improve the productivity of synthesising single compounds and compound libraries based on unique, structured data harvested from the DigitalGlassware technology.

This technology allows users to capture and analyse a rich array of information about their chemical reaction. A unique multi-sensor probe sits inside the reaction vessel, providing real-time data (temperature, pressure, UV light levels and more) while an environmental sensor records ambient conditions. Data from external laboratory hardware can also be recorded through software application programming interfaces (APIs).

These structured data are collected and stored in the cloud alongside each process carried out during the reaction, contextualising the actions of the user in the lab. Displayed in real time, the data can be interrogated using multiple views, enabling the analysis of reaction runs and the re-playing of syntheses.

By capturing in-situ chemical data alongside the experimental intent, observations and outcomes, it is expected that machine learning and AI algorithms could yield cost and time savings whilst also providing novel insights into chemistry.

“Our goal is to transform drug design using innovative digital technologies in combination with automation and AI,” said Michael Kossenjans, Associate Director, Discovery Sciences, R&D, AstraZeneca.

“To get potential new medicines to patients faster, we need to reduce the cycle time for lead identification and optimisation and look forward to working with DeepMatter to assess the potential of DigitalGlassware to help with this.”