Opportunity Pharma and OpenEye join forces to develop AI expert for drug discovery

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags AI Drug discovery machine learning Data management Research

Drug discovery will benefit from a virtual artificial intelligence (AI) expert thanks to Opportunity Pharma and OpenEye, Cadence Molecular Sciences joining forces.

The companies have signed an agreement whereby Opportunity Pharma will use OpenEye’s software to power the development of its artificial intelligence (AI) virtual expert for drug discovery investors.

Opportunity Pharma is an early-stage tech company built on proprietary AI developed specifically for the rigorous analysis and interrogation of medical and scientific data. It says it is the only business offering curated comparisons of new drug investment opportunities for global life science investors, pharma companies, and researchers.

OpenEye, works in computational molecular design, and has pioneered physics-based approaches and the cloud-native Orion molecular modeling software platform to accelerate advances in human health. Its products are used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for drug discovery, and its customers include 19 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies.

David Leahy, Opportunity Pharma’s executive chairman and founder, said: “Drug discovery and development is a costly, inefficient, and time-consuming process. Typically, it takes 10 to 15 years for a drug to transition from the lab bench to the market, and many drug programmes fail along the way.

“One reason for this is that the wrong drug programmes are selected for funding due to incomplete datasets being used and flawing the decision-making process. Opportunity Pharma, through our collaboration with OpenEye, will make portfolio and project investment decisions more objective, rigorous, and transparent, and therefore more successful. Our aim is to reduce drug programme failure and stimulate investment in novel drug discovery - ultimately leading to more, higher-quality new medicines.”

Decision intelligence platform

Signed in May 2023, the agreement will enable Opportunity Pharma to utilise OpenEye’s Orion platform and its extensive range of applications and toolkits in its decision intelligence platform to co-market the two companies’ services across the world.

“OpenEye, Cadence Molecular Sciences is pleased to support Opportunity Pharma in their goal to enable clarity for drug discovery investors as they assess opportunities for a variety of drug targets and therapeutic areas,” said Anthony Nicholls, corporate vice president for OpenEye.

“This use of OpenEye software will help better connect pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and investment resources looking to improve human health. I’ve known David Leahy for more than 25 productive years, and his efforts both in large pharma and small start-ups always have been innovative and exciting. It’s fantastic we can be a part of helping Opportunity Pharma achieve its goals.”

To develop the virtual expert, Opportunity Pharma will collaborate with IT, AI, and machine learning technology partners to construct a database of investable opportunities for all disease areas, drug targets, and drug-like molecules - assessed using curated scientific, development and commercial criteria - and build decision science methodology software to create project prioritisation and drug programme selection criteria. 

David added: “This agreement provides further validation of our novel technology approach, and we look forward to working with OpenEye to empower users with relevant big data that helps guide their investment decisions.”

The first version of the virtual expert is expected to be available in 2024.

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