Scripps & Calibr Select AI-based Drug Discovery Platform to Identify Repurposed Drugs targeting COVID-19

Jun 26, 2020 | AI, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Drug Discovery, Drug Repurposing, News

Scripps & Calibr Select AI-based Drug Discovery Platform to Identify Repurposed Drugs targeting COVID-19

Scripps Research, recently ranked as the most influential institution in the world for innovation by Nature Index, selected Repurpose.AI to leverage their ActivPred AI Drug Discovery Platform, an unbiased drug, target, and disease agnostic digital chemistry engine in a quest to discover drug candidates to treat COVID-19. This selection was not coincidental: the technology was used to successfully discover REP-001, REP—002, and REP-003—all Phase II/III ready small molecule assets for the treatment of gastric, neurological, and weight disorders.

TrialSite News provides a breakdown for the TrialSite Network.

What is Repurpose.AI?

They are a portfolio company of Nex Cubed, a digital health venture. They harness the predictive prowess of artificial intelligence and machine learning with its ActivPred AI Drug Discovery Platform to discover drugs that may be repurposed to serve as therapeutics to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. The drugs that Repurpose.AI discovers for COVID-19 can enter clinical trials in as little as several months.

What is Repurpose. AI’s Drug Library?

It is a library composed of approximately 4,000 drug compounds that have been approved for commercial use by the U.S. FDA, or similar agencies, and 20,000+ drug compounds that are known to have successfully navigated a Phase I (human safety) clinical trial. All drugs have a full pre-clinical program, an existing or legacy supply chain, and are known to be safe and well-tolerated in humans.

What will Scripps and its drug development division Calibr do in this deal?

Scientists from Scripps Research—along with Calibr, their drug development division—will leverage its COVID-19 screening models and commitment to drug repurposing as part of the partnership. The parties will also leverage Calibr’s ReFRAME collection, the world’s leading collection of known drugs, compromising over 14,000 compounds that have been approved by the FDA for other diseases or have been extensively tested for human safety, which it is bringing to bear on the current pandemic.

Is Scripps/Calibr trying to augment the REFRAME collection with the use of the Repurpose.AI library?

Yes. This collaboration will introduce Repurpose.AI, which augments the effort by characterizing compounds not identified to date using conventional repurposed drug screening approaches.

What is special about Repurpose.AI’s Digital Chemistry Drug Discovery Platform?

According to Dr. George Nicola, MBA, Founder and CTO at Repurpose.AI reports that the offering from Repurpose.AI leverages fundamental chemistry-focused artificial intelligence to support the discovery of drugs active against SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic behind COVID-19, that cannot be resolved with traditional high throughput screening approaches. In a time of rapidly growing numbers of infections, this partnership will help Scripps Research accelerate the pace of new COVID-19 discoveries.

How much more productive will the Repurpose.AI tools make Scripps/Calibr?

Dr. Arnab Chatterjee, PhD, VP of Medicinal Chemistry for Calibr at Scripps Research, suggests that with this supporting AI platform, they should be able to “redouble our efforts in drug repurposing by leveraging their Repurpose.AI platform.”

Who is Repurpose.AI?

Repurpose.AI positions itself as an AI Drug Discovery firm that reduces the time to bring a drug to market by 10+ years and the cost to bring a drug to market by $1+ billion. They are transforming drug discovery by leveraging the historical compendium of drug development data, a drug and disease agnostic discovery platform, and unbiased AI to create Phase II/III ready drug candidates in months rather than years. In less than a year, the company has developed a robust pipeline of patent-pending therapeutics for gastric disorders, neurological disorders, and weight disorders, among others. The company is working with partners to discover therapeutics to inhibit COVID-19 infection and reduce its lethal side effects.

Repurpose.AI was launched from Nex Cubed’s Digital Health Venture Studio. Nex Cubed is an investor and innovation partner that empowers startups, investors, corporates, and governments to bring new technologies to market, helps rising companies scale, and provides paths to liquidity.

Scripps Research Institute

Ranked as the most influential institution in the world for its impact on innovation, Scripps Research expands basic knowledge in the biosciences and uses these fundamental advancements to develop profound innovations that improve wellbeing. Researchers here lead breakthrough studies that address the world’s most pressing health concerns.

Calibr was founded on the principle that the creation of new medicines can be accelerated by pairing world-class biomedical research with state-of-the-art drug discovery and development capabilities. Leveraging the unique scientific framework of Scripps Research, Calibr has created a portfolio of drug candidates based on Scripps technologies and is shaping a new paradigm for advancing nonprofit biomedical research to impact patients, while re-investing in further innovative research.

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