Pharma Focus Europe

BioMed X Inks Research Collaboration with Sanofi on Artificial Intelligence for Drug Development

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

BioMed X and Sanofi have announced the launch of their inaugural joint research project. The collaboration will establish a new research group at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, with a focus on developing a versatile computational platform capable of accurately predicting the effectiveness of first-in-class drug candidates in virtual patient populations.

The primary objective of this research endeavor is to address a significant challenge faced by the pharmaceutical industry—the high failure rate of new drug candidates, which stands at 90% during clinical development. The project aims to revolutionize medical practices through the utilization of digital data and artificial intelligence, leveraging Sanofi's extensive datasets and expertise. Initially, the computational platform will serve as a proof-of-concept for chronic immune-mediated diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Christian Tidona, Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute, highlights the institute's prior experience in the field of artificial intelligence through their strategic partnership with AION Labs in Israel. The collaboration with Sanofi further strengthens their expertise in data science and AI within the innovative biomedical incubation environment cultivated in Heidelberg, which bridges academia and industry.

Frank Nestle, Global Head of Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi, emphasizes the significance of identifying high-quality clinical candidates to address the unmet needs of patients. This groundbreaking research collaboration aims to partner with scientists possessing unique computational skills and diverse capabilities, enabling the development of vital treatments for individuals with chronic inflammatory diseases. The core mission of this partnership is to transform drug discovery and development by leveraging AI-based modeling and simulation techniques.

To form a team capable of tackling this challenge, BioMed X and Sanofi will employ their successful and distinctive recruiting model. This model involves a global call for applications, followed by a five-day innovation boot camp, through which a diverse team of talented early-career scientists will be jointly selected. The winning team will be hosted by the BioMed X Institute for up to five years. Situated in the life sciences campus of the University of Heidelberg, the institute is conveniently located less than an hour away from Sanofi's Research & Development site in Frankfurt.

The newly formed team will join the existing 11 research groups at the BioMed X Institute, which are already engaged in complex human ex-vivo models and data science research in the fields of oncology, immunology, and neuroscience.

Candidates interested in driving this research team are encouraged to respond to the international call for applications and submit their project proposals via the BioMed X Career Space at https://bio.mx/career before January 8th, 2023.

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