Kadmon taps Iktos and its AI tech to boost drug discovery work

Virtual drug design tech firm and pharma friend Iktos has been tapped by biotech Kadmon for its AI to help boost drug development timelines.

The Paris-based company will work with New York’s Kadmon to “enable the rapid and cost-effective design of novel drug candidates for an undisclosed Kadmon drug discovery program,” the pair said in a statement.

The pact, financials of which, as usual, were not made public, will see Iktos use its de novo structure-based generative modeling tech to seek out new compounds that match a predefined target product profile with the aim of speeding up Kadmon’s early-phase discovery efforts.

The use of AI is fairly broad, but these sorts of deals are designed to help companies like Kadmon know which targets are most likely to get to the finishing line and return millions, if not billions, of dollars. Iktos, founded back in 2016, has similar deals with Pfizer, Janssen, Almirall, Servier, Galapagos and Pierre Fabre.

The biotech is working on a series of pipeline products, including for chronic graft-versus-host disease with KD025/belumosudil, which saw some positive data out last February and has an FDA review date set by the end of August.

Further back is phase 1 immuno-oncology asset KD033, which works as an anti-PD-L1/IL-15 fusion protein.

“Our collaboration with Iktos provides an exciting opportunity for Kadmon to combine Iktos’ innovative artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology with Kadmon’s expertise in medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design (SBDD) to accelerate novel target validation and to facilitate drug discovery,” said Jean (Ji-In) Kim, senior vice president and head of chemistry at Kadmon.

“We are thrilled that Kadmon is engaging with Iktos to try expedite the discovery of a drug candidate on a promising target,” added Yann Gaston-Mathé, president and CEO of Iktos.

“We are proud to have earned the trust of our collaborators and are confident that Iktos’ software will improve Kadmon’s medicinal chemists’ ability to identify promising novel chemical matter and solve complex multi parametric optimization problems. The feedback from Kadmon’s research team will be highly valuable as we work to improve our product offering. Our strategy has always been to tackle challenging problems alongside our collaborators where we can demonstrate value generation for new and on-going drug discovery projects.”