Boehringer Ingelheim taps Insilico Medicine for AI drug target collaboration

Boehringer Ingelheim has tapped artificial intelligence maven Insilico Medicine to help identify new drug targets through its internal Research Beyond Borders initiative, which is tasked with forming new collaborations outside of the company’s traditional therapeutic areas and geographies.

The program’s portfolio currently spans multiple areas—such as heart failure, tropical diseases, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy as well as the use of gene therapies and regenerative medicine—and includes a special focus on connecting with scientific talent in Asia. 

Insilico Medicine, a recent FierceMedTech Fierce 15 winner based out of Hong Kong and multiple global locations, will provide additional AI capabilities to the effort through its generative models and machine learning programs, according to founder and CEO Alex Zhavoronkov. 

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The company will also provide the use of its Pandomics Discovery Platform to help visualize data elucidating cell signaling pathways and disease profiles by compiling omics data from gene and protein studies. The financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

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Last September, Insilico Medicine raised $37 million in a series B round to help commercialize its drug discovery tech.

The financing was led by China-based Qiming Venture Partners with participation from Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, Baidu Ventures, Pavilion Capital, BOLD Capital Partners and others, including longevity-focused Juvenescence.

Shortly thereafter, the company signed a dual-program discovery collaboration with Jiangsu Chia Tai Fenghai Pharmaceutical worth up to $200 million and focused on previously undruggable targets in triple-negative breast cancer.

Last year, Insilico Medicine published a paper demonstrating how its computer networks were able to generate, synthesize and preclinically validate a series of promising compounds from scratch in less than 50 days.