Roche, Genentech, and Recursion launch AI drug discovery jobs up to $12B

2021-12-08 06:45:52 By : Ms. Anna Wei

The company's goal is to initiate as many as 40 projects, including "critical areas" of neuroscience and undisclosed oncology indications.

[Source: Yuichiro Chino / Getty Images]

Roche and its Genentech subsidiary have pledged up to $12 billion to Recursion in exchange for the use of its recursive operating system (OS) to advance 40 treatments, including "key areas" in neuroscience and undisclosed oncology indications .

Recursion OS applies machine learning and high-content screening methods, which the company claims will be the goal of technical support and a "transitional" model for drug discovery.

The integrated, multifaceted operating system aims to phenotype capture the chemical and genetic changes of neuroscience-related cell types and select cancer cell lines by integrating wet laboratory and dry-large-scale laboratory biology.

The phenotypic group data generated in Recursion’s laboratory will be analyzed by Recursion’s proprietary convolutional neural network, which converts the data into a mathematical representation of biology, which can be used to identify new biological relationships and initiate and advance treatment plans , The two companies said.

Roche, Genentech, and Recursion also agreed to collaborate on the development of new machine learning algorithms to generate new, "highly detailed" maps of human cell biology.

These "phenotype maps" are intended to illustrate the inferred relationships between perturbed phenotypes in a given cellular environment.

Each Phenomap needs to pay an activation fee, an acceptance fee, or both. According to Recursion, the 16 accepted Phenomaps may exceed $250 million. If Roche executes its external use options for all 12 Phenomaps that it can execute, the related execution fees that Roche may pay to Recursion may exceed US$250 million.

"This agreement strengthens RXRX's balance sheet and provides a positive interpretation of its platform that supports AI/ML [artificial intelligence/machine learning]," said Mani Foroohar MD, Managing Director of Genetic Medicine and Senior Research Analyst at SVB Leerink Write a research note today. "Although investors will certainly continue to discuss the appropriate valuation and differentiation of the RXRX analytics platform-whether it is independent or in comparison with competitors and adjacent technologies-we believe this transaction broadly supports our argument that large The acquisition of advanced analytical tools for drug discovery by pharmaceutical companies will drive the ongoing BD [business development] activities of RXRX.

Roche and Genentech have agreed to pay Recursion an upfront payment of 150 million U.S. dollars and pay up to 300 million U.S. dollars for each of the as many as 40 projects they agreed to launch through cooperation with Recursion to achieve development, commercialization, and net sales milestones. Fees, and tiered royalties are on net sales.

Dr. Chris Gibson, Co-founder and CEO of Recursion, said: "Technology-driven drug discovery has arrived, Recursion is leading this field, and we are exploring some of the toughest areas of biology with our best partners." A statement .

Recursion, Roche and Genentech added that they plan to use the insights gained from the collaborative human cell biology atlas to quickly find new targets for neuroscience and oncology indications over a period of ten years or more. And develop drugs.

This collaboration does not include oncology or neuroscience projects that Recursion is already conducting, which will continue to be developed independently.

Recursion's website lists 41 "early development" programs with undisclosed details and 15 separate development programs. Of these 15 projects, four have reached stage I. The four projects include an oncology project for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and a project for three neurological diseases: neurofibromatosis type 2, cerebral cavernous hemangioma; and GM2 gangliosidosis.

The other 11 preclinical development projects target Clostridium difficile colitis; STK11 mutant non-small cell lung cancer immune checkpoint resistance; pulmonary hypertension; senolytics; neuroinflammation; small molecule MYC inhibitors; two are named "Alpha" and " Beta" cancer immunotherapy target; hepatocellular carcinoma; Charcot-Marie-tooth disease type 2; and Barton’s disease.

Recursion expressed its intention to increase its focus on neuroscience on November 30, when it announced three new employees to deepen its expertise in the field: Dr. Tim Ahfeldt, a former professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, ​​Is appointed researcher, neuroscience. The former Bristol-Myers Squibb Neuroscience Discovery and Translational Research Scientific Director, Dr. Irit Rappley, has been appointed as the Vice President of Neuroscience and Translational Research. Dr. Glenn Morrison is a veteran who has worked at Genentech and Roche for 6 years. He later worked at Zogenix and most recently Alector and was appointed as the Vice President of Clinical Development.

Roche and Genentech are not the only biopharmaceutical giants that Recursion has partnered with. Just yesterday, Recursion stated that it is expanding its 15-month strategic cooperation in lung, kidney, heart and other areas of fibrosis, and Bayer has included Recursion’s inference search capabilities based on its human cell biology map. And increase the number of cooperative programs from "more than a dozen" to "a dozen."

Bayer’s partnership can also bring Recursion more than $1 billion in revenue, because for each project developed in cooperation with Bayer, the pharmaceutical giant has agreed to pay Recursion more than $100 million in commercial milestone payments and future sales. Royalties. The two companies launched a partnership in September 2020, when Bayer's equity investment arm Leaps by Bayer invested US$50 million in Recursion's US$239 million Series D financing.

In April 2021, Recursion went public through an initial public offering (IPO) and raised $462.6 million in net proceeds. According to an unnamed source, in August four months later, Bloomberg News reported that SoftBank had already held a US$5 billion stake in Roche and became one of the company’s largest investors. This is based on It uses data for drug development efforts.

The global leader of the Roche Pharmaceuticals collaboration, MD, PhD, MD, MD, MD, PhD, added: “This collaboration highlights the role of technology in transforming drug discovery in a fair manner and unlocking insights into previously unknown complex diseases. "We are excited about the opportunities provided by this collaboration to help promote large-scale drug development."

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