Charles River, Aitia form pact to tap AI for neurodegenerative and oncology research

Charles River Laboratories inked a deal that will allow Aitia to access its artificial-intelligence-powered drug solution platform with the goal of speeding the development of several therapy programs aimed at treating neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

Under the deal, Aitia will use CRL’s Logica platform for its portfolio of novel drug candidates aimed at Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases as well as prostate cancer and multiple myeloma, the company said in a Nov. 13 press release.

Somerville, Massachusetts-based Aitia—formerly known as GNS Healthcare—specializes in using causal AI and digital twins in its work.

Digital or virtual twins are computerized copies of real-world objects or processes. Experts can use digital copies to garner real-time insights on a range of topics. Currently, digital twin simulations are also used by drug developers and clinicians to understand how a patient and/or a therapy may perform in real-life situations.

The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“Unraveling the complex genetic and molecular circuitry of neurodegenerative disorders is critical to the discovery of treatments that significantly slow or reverse these devastating diseases,” Colin Hill, Aitia CEO and co-founder, said in the release. “I do not believe we will get there without the insights from our Digital Twins, which now combined with the advantages of Logica, positions Aitia to rapidly translate our discoveries into novel drug candidates.”

In August, Canadian computational imaging company Altis Labs was tapped to lead an international project that includes drug giants AstraZeneca and Bayer to advance the use of digital twins in clinical trials.