London-based AI pioneer BenevolentAI has identified a novel target for ulcerative colitis through its drug discovery platform.
The candidate was identified by scientists who used BenevolentAI’s target ID tools and machine learning models to identify and experimentally validate a novel biological target. Impressively, the achievement was made without any prior reference in published alliteration or patents linking the gene to ulcerative colitis.
Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer at BenevolentAI, said:
“Ulcerative colitis is a chronic, lifelong disease that affects 0.2% of the US population alone and 1.6 million patients in the seven major markets, yet it is poorly served by the standard of care therapies.
Our novel preclinical candidate addresses the high unmet need for an oral, safe and efficacious therapy and has demonstrated improved safety and tolerability profile compared with other leading IBD treatments.
We are actively using patient-derived molecular descriptors to target patient subgroups that will optimise trial design and further increase our probability of success.”
Following the identification of the candidate, BenevolentAI’s molecular design capabilities were used to generate a potential oral and peripherally-restricted candidate drug. The preclinical candidate has been experimentally validated in ex-vivo ulcerative colitis colon samples from patients who didn’t respond to current treatments.
Joanna Shields, Chief Executive Officer of BenevolentAI, commented: “Nominating a drug candidate for a novel ulcerative colitis target identified by our AI-drug discovery platform represents a milestone for BenevolentAI but, more importantly, advances a new potential treatment for this debilitating disease.”
BenevolentAI plans to advance the asset into clinical trials in early 2023.
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