Iktos and Merck discovering new compounds with AI

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A new collaboration agreement will see Iktos use its generative modelling AI technology to facilitate the rapid and cost-effective discovery and design of promising new compounds for Merck.

Based on deep generative models, Iktos’ AI tech helps bring speed and efficiency to the drug discovery process, by automatically designing virtual novel molecules that have desired activities for treating a given disease.

This tackles one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules which simultaneously satisfy multiple bioactivity and drug-like criteria for clinical testing.

The generative modelling technology is already successfully established in other fields, such as image processing and automatic translation, but has only recently been applied to chemistry.

Belén Garijo, Member of the Executive Board and CEO Healthcare, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, said: “Artificial intelligence is emerging as a pillar in the biopharmaceutical R&D model, giving us exponential opportunity to complement our existing expertise with further speed and better precision.

“For patients, this could mean faster access to novel treatment options.”