Relation Therapeutics announced that it had launched its wet-dry laboratory based in London, UK. The lab and office space covers 5,500-square-feet, and the company stated that it is centered within London’s ‘Knowledge Quarter’, an area in that is home to academic research centers and pharma companies.
The laboratory will combine functional genomic techniques alongside computation technology and machine learning. By using genomic data from human cells, Relation hopes to obtain direct insights into critical biological relationships.
This can then be fed into the dry laboratory’s machine learning engine, which has the power to request new experiments to improve its predictive ability. This is what the company refers to as its ‘lab-in-the-loop’ process, with insights from one area feeding back into the other to “improve the probability of success of drug discovery and development,” Relation stated.
Beyond just using machine learning to identify potential areas for development, Relation uses another engine, known as Selectomatic, to recommend therapeutic indications where its platform could enable the development of successful treatment.
Selectomatic - therapeutic indications
As a result of the engine, the company selected osteoporosis as a disease area that it will pursue for the development of a therapy. Relation stated that current treatment options in the area have limitations, including safety concerns, low uptake, and limited duration of efficacy.
“The use of single-cell profiling allows our scientists to understand bone biology with exquisite detail and provides us with the unique opportunity to be at the forefront of finding a next-generation therapy for osteoporosis. This access to rich single-cell data perfectly enables the power of our machine learning engine in a disease of significant unmet need,” said David Roblin, CEO of Relation.
Alongside establishing its wet-dry lab, the company also announced that it had appointed Edith Hessel as chief scientific officer. Hessel joins Relation from Eligo Bioscience, where she had performed the same role for that company for approximately two years. Previously, Hessel had been employed at GSK as an R&D executive, after being with the company for over a decade.
According to Relation, Hessel will be tasked with leading the drug discovery direction of the company and the progression of its pipeline to the clinic. The company noted that, at GSK, Hessel had been responsible for development a respiratory inflammation discovery unit, which had added multiple novel targets to GSK’s pipeline.