Channeling the Power of AI into Personalizing Medicine

HELEN ALBERT | October 23, 2019 | 134 views

Artificial intelligence has been much discussed of late, but will it really help us solve important problems like how to bring personalized medicine to as many patients as possible? Kate Hilyard, COO of Healx in Cambridge in the UK, believes it can. Getting a drug to clinical trials currently requires a large investment of both time and money with no guarantee that it will be successful in the long term, or reach the market. Hilyard has a lot of experience of drug development, ranging from big pharma to biotech, and understands this process well.

Spotlight

Genetics Society of America

The mission of the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics. It does this by: Fostering an international community of geneticists by promoting interaction among geneticists (including microbial, plant, animal, human, and population and theoretical geneticists) while cultivating a community of thought leaders in the field. Ensuring genetics fulfills its potential for broad impact by facilitating the application of genetic tools and approaches in biological research.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

3D Bioprinting Forefronts Technology in Pharmaceutical & Regenerative Medicine

Article | June 30, 2022

3D printing technology has emerged as a significant driver in the ongoing radical shift across several industrial domains' production processes. The incorporation of 3D printing into tissue engineering, through the use of life cells encapsulated in specialized synthetic or natural biomaterials (e.g. chitosan) as bioinks. This is laying the groundwork for numerous innovative solutions for healthcare and biomedical challenges, heralding new frontiers in medicine, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. 3D Bioprinting: A New Pathway in Medicine Additive manufacturing, which is the process of joining materials to create objects using computer-aided design (CAD) model data, such as 3D bioprinting, has the potential to disrupt the global pharmaceutical and regenerative medicine industry. Today, this technology has permeated countless industries, including pharmaceuticals, automobiles, dental, electronics, and others. The successful implementation of additive manufacturing in the healthcare sector has led to the development of surgical instruments, medical devices, and body implants. The past ten years have seen significant progress in the bioprinting arsenal, with many revolutionary and cutting-edge innovations, helping 3D bioprinting emerge as one of the most exciting and promising technologies. This advanced additive manufacturing has the potential to impact a wide variety of medical applications. Some of the applications making use of 3D bioprinting are Medical Education and Training Drug Delivery Manufacturing of Surgical Instruments Surgery Preparation Production of Personalized Prosthetics It has been estimated that 3D bioprinting in the medical field will be worth $3.8 billion by 2026, in comparison to the $1.4 billion registered in 2020. The domain’s compound annual growth rate is forecast to reach 18.2% between 2021 and 2026. The Way Ahead A large number of medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with printing de novo organs such as hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs, and skin, among others, to assist with the study of organs in-vitro, the development of drugs for specific diseases, and decrease the shortage of organs for transplant. For instance, Organovo, a medical laboratory and research company based in the United States, presented pre-clinical data for the functionality of its liver tissue in a program for type 1 tyrosinemia, a disease that makes it difficult for the body to metabolize the amino acid tyrosine. A multiplicity of such developments will increase the penetration of 3D bioprinting in the medical field, presenting opportunities for pharmaceutical leaders to invest in the domain.

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PHARMA TECH

Biomaterials Emerging as a Blessing in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Article | July 7, 2022

Biomaterials are materials (natural or synthetic) that are biologically compatible with the human body and are used to replace, restore, support, or enhance the biological functions of damaged tissues while being in constant contact with body fluids. Over the past couple of decades, biomaterials have made their mark in the rapidly evolving pharmaceutical and medical fields. These materials are designed to interact with living biological tissue and are used for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. Previously, biomaterials were only used in medical devices to replace or treat tissues or improve organ functions. However, it was later discovered that the term "non-viable" was inappropriate as biomaterials can be used for a variety of medical applications other than implanted devices. Growing Cases of Chronic Wounds Deepen the Penetration of Biomaterials There is a significant rise in the side effects caused due to the use of non-biocompatible materials for the treatment of chronic wounds caused by conditions such as malignant tumors, diabetes, infections, and vasculopathy, among others. Using biodegradable and biocompatible drug carriers is one way to avoid or reduce the side effects that may result from drug delivery to cells with enhanced efficiency and performance during the health rehabilitation process. Also, the use of biomaterials assists in enhancing chronic wound healing through anti-infection and antioxidant effects, immunoregulation, debridement, extracellular matrix remodeling, and angiogenesis, further increasing the adoption of pharmaceutical products made using these materials. Due to their favorable properties, biomaterials are gaining massive traction across the pharmaceutical industry. Here are some of the applications of biomaterials as follows. Dental Injectable Medical Implants Organ Regeneration (Heart, Lungs, Knee, Tracheal graft, others) Drug Delivery Regenerative Medicines Tissue Engineering Wound Healing Disease Treatment The Way Forward Leading manufacturers of biomaterials are aiming at expanding their biomaterial production capacity to strengthen their footprint and gain a competitive edge in the industry. For instance, in 2020, Evonik Industries AG, a German specialty chemicals company, announced the launch of a new biomaterial manufacturing facility in Birmingham, the U.S. to expand the company’s territory across North America. Following the trend, biomaterials are anticipated to create massive investment prospects for pharmaceutical players.

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PHARMA TECH

Use of AI: Reshaping the Pharmaceutical Industry

Article | July 12, 2022

For decades, the pharmaceutical industry has counted on state-of-the-art technologies to ensure the market entry of safe and dependable medications. The recent pandemic has shown how important it is for drug companies to get new drugs and vaccines on the market as soon as possible. The incorporation of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies has greatly benefited the consumer healthcare business and the pharmaceutical industry. These technologies have been indispensable in the field of augmented intelligence, where they are used for applications such as disease detection and diagnosis, research and development, drug manufacturing, and others. How is AI Being Used Across the Pharmaceutical Sector? AI and ML are finding a plethora of applications across the pharmaceutical sector, starting from managing the process of clinical trial databases to drug discovery and disease diagnosis and treatment. These advanced technologies have further gained immense popularity with the advent of the COVID pandemic and the race to discover effective vaccines. The top-level uses of AI across the pharmaceutical sector are as follows Personalized Treatment/ Digital Therapeutics – AI is extensively being used to identify and assist drug developers to provide reliable and accurate insights for developing personalized therapeutics. Disease Identification/ Suggestive Treatment – With robust assessing abilities, AI is finding applications for the diagnosis of diseases ranging from Covid-19 to oncology to degeneration in the eyes. Drug Discovery and Manufacturing – AI assists in screening and comparing the predicted success rate of drug compounds based on biological factors with the results of the initial screening process such as rapid RNA and DNA quantification. Clinical Trials – The technology helps in identifying the most suitable candidate for the clinical trial on the basis of disease conditions, history, and additional attributes covering infection rates, ethnicity, and demographics to study the impact of the drug. The Way Ahead With growing applications in the development of novel therapeutic medications, shifting patient inclination toward personalized medicines, and the introduction of advanced medical fields such as gene therapy, AI is estimated to transform the pharmaceutical

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PHARMA TECH

How Pharma Is Utilizing AI and Analytic Capabilities to Produce Positive Results

Article | July 7, 2022

Applications for AI are as diverse as the industries that employ them, and pharma has identified the particular varieties of AI that are most effective in attaining quicker, more fruitful results across a variety of business activities. In a world where every second counts, pharma and biotech businesses are under pressure to shorten the time to insight and deliver success. As a result, leading organizations quickly realize the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) as a crucial tool for advancing their operations. Leading pharma and biotech firms have realized the potential of AI and are utilizing it to boost productivity and innovation across the board, from production to drug discovery. Their procedures have significantly benefited from the application of machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), and the results are only becoming better because AI gets stronger and "smarter" the more data it processes. Advantages Pharma Industry Can Leverage Increased effectiveness across the spectrum in the pharmaceutical industry Drug discovery accelerates Superior disease surveillance, detection, and prevention Clinical trials with lower risk Greater insight into the client NLP is used to turn clinical trial data that is text-intensive and highly categorized into the data utilized in machine learning (ML) models, allowing the computer system to apply patterns to the data and generate insights. Clinical trial data is structured and enriched, making it possible to analyze and visualize the data for use in successful plans and strategies for clinical trial design, manufacturing, marketing, and other areas. Faster time to insight and improved business outcomes are the end results. A particularly true principle of machine learning applications is that the outcomes from using AI applications are only as reliable as the data itself. The Pharma Intelligence offering, which combines high-quality, extensive data from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with advanced analytics and AI applications, has assisted customers with high-value products in resolving some of their most difficult key problems, including target prioritization, modalities innovation, competitive benchmarking, clinical trial design and deployment, and more.

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Spotlight

Genetics Society of America

The mission of the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics. It does this by: Fostering an international community of geneticists by promoting interaction among geneticists (including microbial, plant, animal, human, and population and theoretical geneticists) while cultivating a community of thought leaders in the field. Ensuring genetics fulfills its potential for broad impact by facilitating the application of genetic tools and approaches in biological research.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Titan Pharmaceuticals to Explore Strategic Alternatives

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | December 22, 2021

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has commenced a process to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. Titan has engaged Maxim Group LLC as its exclusive financial advisor to assist in this process. Potential strategic alternatives that may be explored or evaluated as part of this process include an acquisition, merger, reverse merger, other business combination, sales of assets, licensing or other strategic transactions involving the Company. There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in any agreements or transactions, or that, if completed, any agreements or transactions will be successful or on attractive terms. Titan does not expect to disclose developments with respect to this process unless and until the evaluation of strategic alternatives has been completed or the board of directors has concluded that disclosure is appropriate or legally required. About Titan Pharmaceuticals Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based in South San Francisco, CA, is a development stage company developing proprietary therapeutics with its ProNeura® long-term, continuous drug delivery technology. The ProNeura technology has the potential to be used in developing products for treating a number of chronic conditions, where maintaining consistent, around-the-clock blood levels of medication may benefit the patient and improve medical outcomes. Ultimate validation of the ProNeura® delivery system has been exemplified by approval of Probuphine in the US, EU and Canada. Key ongoing ProNeura implant programs include IND-enabling, non-clinical assessment of TP-2021, a potent peptide kappa opioid agonist for the long-term treatment of severe, chronic pruritis, and nalmefene, a mu opioid receptor blocker designed to decrease relapse and potential death from overdose in detoxed patients with Opiate Use Disorder.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

TriMas Closes on Acquisition of Omega

TriMas | December 21, 2021

TriMasannounced that it has closed the acquisition of Omega Plastics (“Omega”), a manufacturer of custom components and tooling for medical, as well as industrial applications, adding to TriMas’ Packaging group. Omega leverages its core injection molding capabilities, ISO Class 8 clean room and advanced in-house tool making capabilities, to provide its customers a faster product development cycle, from prototype development, testing and validation, to short and medium run production and assembly. Omega’s medical components are currently used in drug delivery, including consumable intravenous applications, as well as diagnostic testing and orthopedic applications. As of September 30, 2021, TriMas’ Packaging group’s last twelve months sales were approximately $534 million, representing approximately 64% of TriMas’ total sales. TriMas plans to expand Omega’s production capacity, as required in order to benefit its customers’ longer-term needs, while also leveraging Omega’s advanced tool making capabilities to add to TriMas Packaging’s speed-to-market advantage on innovation and new product designs. Omega is expected to generate approximately $18 million in revenue in fiscal year 2021. “We welcome Omega to TriMas’ family of businesses and look forward to working with the Omega leadership team to unleash future growth opportunities. I’d like to thank all the teams from Omega, TriMas and our respective advisors that supported the work to complete this transaction.” Thomas Amato, TriMas President & CEO The addition of Omega further expands TriMas Packaging’s Pharmaceutical & Nutraceutical product offering into supporting medical device contract development manufacturing customers.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Iktos and The University of Dundee, Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) Announce a Collaboration to Use AI for Drug Design and Retrosyntheis

Iktos | December 20, 2021

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, and The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), School of Life Sciences, The University of Dundee, focused on the discovery of therapeutics for neglected diseases and the translation of novel biology through small molecule drug discovery, announced entering a collaboration to apply Iktos’s generative modelling artificial intelligence (AI) technology in one of DDU’s drug discovery programs. Under the agreement, Iktos will apply its de novo ligand and structure-based generative modelling technologies, its AI-based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™, and know-how complementing DDU’s drug discovery capabilities to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates and to identify additional novel chemical matter with suitable properties. The DDU was established in 2006 to respond to a lack of drug targets identified for neglected tropical diseases being translated into therapeutics for diseases impacting the poorest people in the world. The DDU translates basic science into lead compounds to validate putative drug targets, to use as tools to investigate disease pathways and, when appropriate, advance to pre-clinical drug candidates for multiple diseases, e.g. TB and cancer. Iktos’s AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps to bring new insights and directions into the drug discovery process based on a comprehensive data-driven chemical structure generation technology. This technology automatically designs virtual novel molecules with all of the characteristics of a successful drug molecule. This approach, validated through Iktos’s other collaborations, is a novel solution to one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. This approach uniquely enables the exploration of chemical space and produces innovative molecule designs with greater freedom to operate. Iktos has recently diversified its R&D efforts into the development of an AI technology for retrosynthesis. Identifying and selecting synthetic pathways is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks in synthetic and medicinal chemistry. Iktos has developed AI based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™ by harnessing the power of data-driven retrosynthesis algorithm for systematic exploration and prioritisation of synthetic routes for a desired compound in minutes. “We are thrilled to be working with Iktos to drive our projects towards drug candidates. Iktos AI platform combined with our own in-house computational and medicinal chemistry design teams provide a powerful combination for innovative new drug design.” Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the DDU “We are thrilled and proud to join forces with DDU with the aim to help in the discovery of therapeutics for neglected diseases and the translation of novel biology through small molecule drug discovery,” commented Yann Gaston-Mathé, President and CEO of Iktos. “Pleased to have earned DDU’s trust, we are confident that together with DDU and their established R&D partners, we will be able to identify promising novel chemical matter and solve complex multiparametric optimisation problems. The feedback from DDU’s research team will be highly valuable as we improve our product offerings. 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.” About DDU The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) (est. 2006) within the School of Life Sciences at The University of Dundee is a fully integrated, Biotech-style, drug discovery centre working across multiple disease areas. The DDU collaborates with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical need. About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a French start-up company specialized in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, to design molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis.

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PHARMACY MARKET

Titan Pharmaceuticals to Explore Strategic Alternatives

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | December 22, 2021

Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has commenced a process to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value. Titan has engaged Maxim Group LLC as its exclusive financial advisor to assist in this process. Potential strategic alternatives that may be explored or evaluated as part of this process include an acquisition, merger, reverse merger, other business combination, sales of assets, licensing or other strategic transactions involving the Company. There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in any agreements or transactions, or that, if completed, any agreements or transactions will be successful or on attractive terms. Titan does not expect to disclose developments with respect to this process unless and until the evaluation of strategic alternatives has been completed or the board of directors has concluded that disclosure is appropriate or legally required. About Titan Pharmaceuticals Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based in South San Francisco, CA, is a development stage company developing proprietary therapeutics with its ProNeura® long-term, continuous drug delivery technology. The ProNeura technology has the potential to be used in developing products for treating a number of chronic conditions, where maintaining consistent, around-the-clock blood levels of medication may benefit the patient and improve medical outcomes. Ultimate validation of the ProNeura® delivery system has been exemplified by approval of Probuphine in the US, EU and Canada. Key ongoing ProNeura implant programs include IND-enabling, non-clinical assessment of TP-2021, a potent peptide kappa opioid agonist for the long-term treatment of severe, chronic pruritis, and nalmefene, a mu opioid receptor blocker designed to decrease relapse and potential death from overdose in detoxed patients with Opiate Use Disorder.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

TriMas Closes on Acquisition of Omega

TriMas | December 21, 2021

TriMasannounced that it has closed the acquisition of Omega Plastics (“Omega”), a manufacturer of custom components and tooling for medical, as well as industrial applications, adding to TriMas’ Packaging group. Omega leverages its core injection molding capabilities, ISO Class 8 clean room and advanced in-house tool making capabilities, to provide its customers a faster product development cycle, from prototype development, testing and validation, to short and medium run production and assembly. Omega’s medical components are currently used in drug delivery, including consumable intravenous applications, as well as diagnostic testing and orthopedic applications. As of September 30, 2021, TriMas’ Packaging group’s last twelve months sales were approximately $534 million, representing approximately 64% of TriMas’ total sales. TriMas plans to expand Omega’s production capacity, as required in order to benefit its customers’ longer-term needs, while also leveraging Omega’s advanced tool making capabilities to add to TriMas Packaging’s speed-to-market advantage on innovation and new product designs. Omega is expected to generate approximately $18 million in revenue in fiscal year 2021. “We welcome Omega to TriMas’ family of businesses and look forward to working with the Omega leadership team to unleash future growth opportunities. I’d like to thank all the teams from Omega, TriMas and our respective advisors that supported the work to complete this transaction.” Thomas Amato, TriMas President & CEO The addition of Omega further expands TriMas Packaging’s Pharmaceutical & Nutraceutical product offering into supporting medical device contract development manufacturing customers.

Read More

BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Iktos and The University of Dundee, Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) Announce a Collaboration to Use AI for Drug Design and Retrosyntheis

Iktos | December 20, 2021

Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, and The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU), School of Life Sciences, The University of Dundee, focused on the discovery of therapeutics for neglected diseases and the translation of novel biology through small molecule drug discovery, announced entering a collaboration to apply Iktos’s generative modelling artificial intelligence (AI) technology in one of DDU’s drug discovery programs. Under the agreement, Iktos will apply its de novo ligand and structure-based generative modelling technologies, its AI-based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™, and know-how complementing DDU’s drug discovery capabilities to expedite the identification of potential pre-clinical candidates and to identify additional novel chemical matter with suitable properties. The DDU was established in 2006 to respond to a lack of drug targets identified for neglected tropical diseases being translated into therapeutics for diseases impacting the poorest people in the world. The DDU translates basic science into lead compounds to validate putative drug targets, to use as tools to investigate disease pathways and, when appropriate, advance to pre-clinical drug candidates for multiple diseases, e.g. TB and cancer. Iktos’s AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps to bring new insights and directions into the drug discovery process based on a comprehensive data-driven chemical structure generation technology. This technology automatically designs virtual novel molecules with all of the characteristics of a successful drug molecule. This approach, validated through Iktos’s other collaborations, is a novel solution to one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules that simultaneously satisfy multiple parameters, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and project-specific properties. This approach uniquely enables the exploration of chemical space and produces innovative molecule designs with greater freedom to operate. Iktos has recently diversified its R&D efforts into the development of an AI technology for retrosynthesis. Identifying and selecting synthetic pathways is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks in synthetic and medicinal chemistry. Iktos has developed AI based retrosynthesis analysis and planning tool Spaya™ by harnessing the power of data-driven retrosynthesis algorithm for systematic exploration and prioritisation of synthetic routes for a desired compound in minutes. “We are thrilled to be working with Iktos to drive our projects towards drug candidates. Iktos AI platform combined with our own in-house computational and medicinal chemistry design teams provide a powerful combination for innovative new drug design.” Professor Paul Wyatt, Head of the DDU “We are thrilled and proud to join forces with DDU with the aim to help in the discovery of therapeutics for neglected diseases and the translation of novel biology through small molecule drug discovery,” commented Yann Gaston-Mathé, President and CEO of Iktos. “Pleased to have earned DDU’s trust, we are confident that together with DDU and their established R&D partners, we will be able to identify promising novel chemical matter and solve complex multiparametric optimisation problems. The feedback from DDU’s research team will be highly valuable as we improve our product offerings. 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.” About DDU The Drug Discovery Unit (DDU) (est. 2006) within the School of Life Sciences at The University of Dundee is a fully integrated, Biotech-style, drug discovery centre working across multiple disease areas. The DDU collaborates with partners to translate world-class biology research into novel drug targets and candidate drugs to address unmet medical need. About Iktos Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a French start-up company specialized in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design. Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, to design molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project. The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R&D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya™. Iktos is also developing Spaya™, a synthesis planning software based upon Iktos’s proprietary AI technology for retrosynthesis.

Read More

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