Atomwise, Bridge Biotherapeutics pen $1B deal for AI-devised molecules

Atomwise has inked a discovery deal potentially totaling more than $1 billion with South Korean biotech Bridge Biotherapeutics that will see it turn its artificial intelligence programs upon up to 13 small-molecule generation programs in inflammation.

“Bridge is a recognized biotech leader and has successfully out-licensed development programs to global partners such as Boehringer Ingelheim,” said Atomwise’s co-founder and CEO, Abraham Heifets, who described the project as the company’s first partnership in Korea.

“Our team has been impressed by their ability to consistently bring new therapies to the clinic and look forward to a long-term relationship,” Heifets said in a statement

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Atomwise will start working to develop AI-generated molecules focused on Pellino E3 ubiquitin ligases—which are known to regulate the innate and adaptive immune systems—as well as other targets nominated by Bridge. 

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Atomwise will receive upfront, milestone and royalty payments based on the success of each individual research program.