Pfizer the latest pharma to befriend Iktos for its AI drug discovery platform

Virtual drug design tech firm Iktos has set up a new pact with Big Pharma Pfizer to tap its artificial intelligence for its discovery work.

Pfizer will use the Paris-based company’s tech for de novo design to “selected Pfizer small-molecule discovery programs,” although the pair did not share specifics of the targets nor of any financials for the pact.

“Pfizer has had an active interest in AI for de novo design and we are excited to work with Iktos to use their AI technology on a number of our programs,” said Charlotte Allerton, head of medicine design at Pfizer.

The use of AI is fairly broad, but these sorts of deals are designed to help seek out, model and better predict small-molecule activities to help Pfizer 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 Janssen, Almirall, Servier, Galapagos and Pierre Fabre.

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“We are proud to work with Pfizer and to have their scientists use our software in their early discovery programs,” said Yann Gaston-Mathé, co-founder and CEO of Iktos.

“It is our ultimate goal to put our technology in the hands of drug discovery scientists, who have deep knowledge and understanding of their discovery programs. By combining their drug discovery expertise with our algorithmic and data science know-how and experience derived from the many collaborations we have established to date, we believe that the promise of AI to dramatically improve drug discovery will have a better chance to be realized and impact therapeutic development.”