Pfizer taps CytoReason’s machine learning platform for drug discovery

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Dr_Microbe)
(Image: Getty/Dr_Microbe)

Related tags: CytoReason, machine learning

CytoReason today announced a collaboration with Pfizer – as the machine learning company eyes future partnerships with industry leaders to up the accuracy of its models and affect decision-making throughout the drug development pipeline, says CEO.

CytoReason’s machine learning platform is based on its “cell-centered models” of cellular activity per disease and tissue, and uses both proprietary and public data.

“This collaboration allows us to demonstrate … how we’re affecting decision-making throughout the pipeline, from discovery through validation of targets, through POC [proof of concept] phases and later clinical stages,” ​CytoReason CEO David Harel told us.

Prior to today’s announcement, the company had been working with Pfizer for some time, and the past several months provided the pharma giant the opportunity “to see the quality and strength of our models,”​ Harel said.

Read: From mouse to man: New machine-learning model reduces number of ‘wasted experiments’

Under the agreement, CytoReason will receive payments potentially equaling up to low double-digit millions (in US dollars) for technology access fees, research support, and certain success-based payments.

The collaboration will focus on immunology, immune-oncology, inflammation, as well as certain dermatology indications, and will enable CytoReason to improve its models across these areas.

“Every new data set, every new trial, every new collaboration we have is improving the accuracy of the model,”​ Harel said.

Moving forward, the company is looking to continue and collaborations with leaders in the industry.

Harel explained, “Part of our compensation for the work and the models and the IP is subject to the success of the programs that we are involved in, so for us, it is important to focus on companies that we know have the track record and expertise to deliver drugs to the market.”

CytoReason is currently working with four of the top ten large pharma companies – and will continue to expand these collaborations, which enable it to improve its models, Harel added. 

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