Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design today announced recent collaboration agreement in AI for new drug design with Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., a leading global pharmaceutical company based in China with a focus on research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative and high-quality healthcare products. Under the agreement, Iktos’ de novo generative design software Makya™ will be used by Hengrui scientists to facilitate rapid and cost-effective design of novel compounds and accelerate hit-to-lead/lead optimisation for undisclosed Hengrui Pharma’s drug discovery programmes.
Iktos has released Makya™, a generative AI-driven de novo design software for Multi-Parametric Optimization (MPO), available either as a SaaS platform or for implementation on customer premises or in the customer’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Makya’s user-friendly interface enables it to be used by medicinal or computational chemists. Makya™ can also be operated as a Python package through a Jupyter notebook interface.
Iktos’ AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps bring speed and efficiency to the drug discovery process, by automatically designing virtual novel molecules that have desired activities for treating a given disease. This tackles one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules which simultaneously satisfy multiple bioactivity and drug-like criteria for drug discovery and development.
“Innovation is the core development strategy. Hengrui has a strong interest in exploring and utilizing enabling technologies, such as AI, to transform and accelerate the discovery of innovative medicines. We are excited about the opportunity to use Iktos’ proprietary AI platform to beef up our drug design and discovery capability to better address unmet clinical needs”.
Dr. Weikang Tao, Vice President of Hengrui Pharma and CEO of R&D Centers
"We are very pleased to collaborate with Hengrui Pharma, a leading global pharmaceutical company based in China. We are excited and proud to announce our first collaboration deal in China pharma sector and to have Hengrui Pharma 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 facilitate our technology usage by expert drug discovery scientists, who have deep knowledge and understanding of their discovery programs. This way, the promise of AI to dramatically improve drug discovery will have a better chance to be realized and impact therapeutic development. At Iktos, we strive to build an innovative technology platform capable of improving the efficiency of drug discovery by combining our powerful algorithmic technology, our know-how derived from the experience of the many collaborations we have established to date, and an intuitive and user-friendly user interface which is essential to an optimal user experience.”
Incorporated in October 2016, Iktos is a start-up company specializing 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, the design of 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.
About Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.
Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. is a leading global pharmaceutical company based in China with a focus on research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative and high-quality healthcare products. Innovation is the core development strategy. Hengrui Pharma has 8 innovative products marketed and more than 50 clinical-stage innovative candidates, of which 20 are currently under global clinical development. Hengrui Pharma ranked 21st among the top 1,000 global pharma companies announced by Torreya in 2020. Hengrui has been on the Pharma Exec’s annual listing of the top global pharmaceutical companies for the third consecutive year, rising from the 47th in 2019 to the 38th in 2021.