Alphabet’s Isomorphic Labs Partners With Eli Lilly, Novartis to Accelerate AI-Driven Drug Discovery
By Jace Dela Cruz
Jan 09, 2024 02:24 AM EST
Jan 09, 2024 02:24 AM EST
Isomorphic Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., is set to accelerate AI-driven drug discovery after it entered into strategic research collaboration agreements with Novartis AG and Eli Lilly & Co.
These collaborations, worth nearly $3 billion, will reportedly include initiatives to address various illnesses. By teaming up with these pharmaceutical giants, Isomorphic Labs aims to use its groundbreaking AI tech to revolutionize drug development procedures and enhance the overall effectiveness of treatments.
According to Fortune, Isomorphic Labs has obtained initial payments of $45 million from Lilly to advance research into small molecule therapeutics against multiple targets.
The company could receive up to $1.7 billion based on performance-related milestones, excluding the upfront payment and any successive tiered royalties on net sales.
Isomorphic Labs has also entered into an agreement with Novartis to accelerate the discovery of small molecule therapeutics against three undisclosed targets.
The collaboration entails an upfront payment of $37.5 million to Isomorphic Labs, which is also eligible to receive up to $1.2 billion in performance-based milestone payments.
"Cutting-edge AI technologies such as AlphaFold hold the potential to transform how we discover new drugs and accelerate our ability to deliver life-changing medicines for patients," Fiona Marshall, President of Biomedical Research at Novartis, said in a statement.
"This collaboration harnesses our companies' unique strengths, from AI and data science to medicinal chemistry and deep disease area expertise, to realize new possibilities in AI-driven drug discovery. We are thrilled to explore uncharted frontiers together with the Isomorphic team," she added.
Isomorphic Labs is behind an AI system called AlphaFold that predicts human protein structures and allows researchers to discover potential new drug target pathways.
With the additional funding from its partners, the company aims to accelerate advancements in this AI-powered protein research to revolutionize drug discovery and treat a wide range of diseases.
The standard protein structure analysis can take years to finish hands-on work, while AlphaFold can make predictions in mere days. Isomorphic Labs and DeepMind recently used the AlphaFold 2 model to create and synthesize a novel drug to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.
Isomorphic Labs operates autonomously within Alphabet, with its own dedicated resources and focus on applying AI to drug discovery.
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