SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atomwise, the leader in using artificial intelligence (AI) for small-molecule drug discovery, today unveiled its growing portfolio of emerging joint venture companies with research programs spanning oncology, immunology, infectious disease, neuroscience and clotting disorders.
In the area of infectious disease, the company is announcing the addition of vAirus, a newly formed joint venture company with world RNA-virus expert Nito Panganiban. The joint venture will use AI-based screening to find small molecule compounds to act as novel broad-spectrum antivirals against flaviviruses, a genus of RNA-viruses that includes Zika virus, dengue fever, West Nile virus and other emerging and tropical diseases.
In the area of neurology, the company is announcing OrganAi, a newly named joint venture with StemoniX, announced last December. OrganAi combines the two companies’ platform technologies to use human iPSC-derived complex 3D neural cultures with AI-based screening methods to identify novel small molecules that will be developed into therapeutics for debilitating rare diseases, with initial efforts focusing on Rett Syndrome. Although OrganAi’s focus will initially be on rare neurodevelopmental disorders, the approach is disease and target agnostic and can expand to other diseases and organ systems.
The company’s growing portfolio of joint ventures and research collaborations also includes the recently announced Atomwise and FutuRx joint venture A2i Therapeutics, which received seed funding from Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Takeda Ventures, OrbiMed Partners, Leaps by Bayer and the Israeli Innovation Authority to initiate a small molecule program to discover novel immuno-oncology agents. This newest joint venture collaboration closes out a year of continued hypergrowth for Atomwise and the company’s industry-leading AI technology, AtomNet®.
“We’re thrilled to finish 2020 strong with new joint ventures in our ranks and a growing portfolio of promising opportunities against some of the most challenging disease targets,” said Abraham Heifets, co-founder and CEO of Atomwise. “The combined capabilities of Atomwise and our founding partners behind A2i Therapeutics, vAirus, OrganAi and our other joint ventures have the potential to make exciting strides in small molecule drug discovery, and we’re hopeful for what comes next.”
Atomwise’s proprietary approach to identifying small molecules for undruggable diseases has landed the startup market validation and recognition with the announcement of a $123 million Series B funding round in August 2020 led by B Capital Group and Sanabil Investments, bringing the total amount of capital raised to almost $175 million. To date, the company has established an active R&D pipeline containing more than 500 active R&D projects for more than 400 unique protein targets, with over 80 validated hit compounds, and counting.
Atomwise and several of its joint ventures, including OrganAi, vAirus, and Theia Biosciences, will have company presentations at the Informa Biotech Showcase which will be held the week of the J.P. Morgan 39th Annual Healthcare Conference (#JPM2021) from January 11th - 15th, 2021. During the event, Atomwise CEO and co-founder Abraham Heifets will discuss innovation in central nervous system disease therapies alongside executives from Eli Lilly, Neurocrine, and investor Dolby Family Ventures. For more information, please visit https://informaconnect.com/biotech-showcase/.
For more information about licensing, partnership or investment opportunities in the Atomwise portfolio of joint venture companies, please visit www.atomwise.com/pipeline.
- OrganAi: By leveraging clinically translatable human iPSC-derived neurospheroids in high-throughput format and AI-based small molecule-protein binding technologies, Atomwise and StemoniX’s first joint venture is focused on generating novel small-molecule assets. Initial efforts in Rett Syndrome using this human-first approach combined with AI-technology are identifying molecules for hit expansion and lead optimization.
- Theia Biosciences: A joint venture company with UC Riverside assistant professor of biochemistry Dr. John Jefferson Perry, PhD, Theia Biosciences to discover small molecule inhibitors of the HTRA1 protein as a potential first-in-class treatment for the wet form, and potentially also the dry form, of age-related macular degeneration.
- vAirus: A joint venture company discovering novel small molecule antivirals against RNA-viruses that cause emerging and tropical diseases. Co-founded by Dr. Antonito Panganiban, PhD, world RNA-virus expert at Tulane University, the company will leverage Atomwise’s AI-based screening and molecular chemistry to discover two types of broad-spectrum antivirals, one targeting future and emerging flaviviruses and the other targeting a superfamily of RNA viruses including the corona-, orthomyxo-, filo-, arena-, hanta-, bunya-, and nairovirus families.
- X-37: Co-founded by Atomwise and Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, X-37 has initiated five discovery programs in areas of high medical need, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and coagulation disorders. The team at X-37 is advancing drug candidates identified via Atomwise’s AtomNet® technology through initial screening assays and pre-clinical testing with a goal to begin human clinical trials in 2022. Notable disease targets include cGAS, SHP2, PIM3, and factor XIIa.
- Atomwise-SEngine JV1: Atomwise and SEngine Precision Medicine’s first joint venture combines AI technology and living tumor organoids to discover novel personalized therapies for cancer patients. SEngine can identify gene targets that are essential for the growth of mutant cancer cells and use their PARIS® Test platform to perform “in vitro clinical trials” which can screen hundreds of candidate drugs and drug combinations simultaneously against living tumors inpatient-derived organoids.
- Atomwise-Atropos Therapeutics JV1: Using Atomwise’s and Atropos’s platform technologies and complementary capabilities, this joint venture performs screens to identify novel compounds for targets that modulate cellular senescence for the development of potential cancer and age-related disorder treatments.
Atomwise is revolutionizing how drugs are discovered with AI. We invented the use of deep learning for structure-based drug discovery, today developing a pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates advancing into preclinical studies. Our AtomNet® technology has been used to unlock more undruggable targets than any other AI drug discovery platform. We are tackling over 600 unique disease targets across 775 collaborations spanning more than 250 partners around the world. Our portfolio of joint ventures and partnerships with leading pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and emerging biotechnology companies represents a collective deal value approaching $7 billion. Atomwise has raised over $174 million from leading venture capital firms to advance our mission to make better medicines, faster. Learn more at atomwise.com or follow @AtomwiseInc.