To identify novel hits against targets of interest to Evotec, Immuneering will apply an artificial intelligence (AI) based drug discovery platform to perform in silico high-throughput screens, said Greg Koytiger, SVP and head of AI at Immuneering. These can then be tested in Evotec's in vitro induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) platform.
Dr. Werner Lanthaler, Evotec CEO, said the combination of iPSC and AI technologies creates an opportunity to discover novel metabolic ligands to accelerate drug discovery in rare metabolic diseases.
Lanthaler told us the goal is to develop novel drugs targeting disorders of lysosomes that drive different clinical presentations in many rare genetic metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases with a high unmet medical need.
Immuneering's proprietary computational drug discovery platform – Fluency – uses neural networks to predict binding affinity of vast chemical libraries to a target solely by its amino acid sequence, without the need for a crystal structure, explained Koytiger.
“Combining Evotec and Immuneering's platforms will enable us to very rapidly identify and validate novel small molecules that can become the basis of new preclinical drug programs for rare hereditary metabolic diseases,” Koytiger told us.
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Immuneering launched in February 2008, since which time it has partnered with several pharmaceutical companies to accelerate drug discovery and development.
The Cambridge, MA-based company applies proprietary computational biology methods and drug discovery platform to high-throughput molecular data. According to Immuneering, its platform can identify hits in days or weeks by applying AI and other algorithms.