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The Clinical Trials Industry’s Weekly News Update

CRL and Valo launch AI-based ‘advanceable’ lead system for drug discovery

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Charles River Laboratories (CRL) and Valo Health say new AI discovery tech yields clinical trial ready candidates 58% of the time.

CRL and Valo launched their Logica platform this month, explaining that it is designed to help drug developers selected identify preclinical candidates that have the best chance of progressing through clinical development.

The platform has two components; a technology designed to identify “advanceable leads,” compounds with the desired ADME characteristics and; a system that determines the safety and efficacy profiles of the selected leads in preparation for “IND enabling studies”

During development, CRL contributed its discovery optimization capabilities with Valo providing its predictive models, chemical design and synthesis capabilities, DNA-encoded libraries, in silico high throughput screening technologies.

According to CRL and Valo, the system has demonstrated the ability to produce an advanceable lead series 90% of the time and deliver development candidates 58% of the time.

The firms began collaborating on artificial intelligence-based drug discovery tools and technologies in January and Logica is the result, according to Charles River chief operating office, Birgit Girshick.

“Through our partnership with Valo, we’re integrating Charles River’s laboratory capabilities with industry-altering AI-driven molecular design to provide our clients with highly advanceable leads and candidates, while tying client costs to value generation.

“AI-powered solutions are driving drug discovery forward and this is the kind of innovation our industry needs to ultimately bring effective treatments to patients faster,” she said.

This view was echoed by Valo CEO David Berry, who said, “We are creating an opportunity to fully outsource small molecule discovery while providing a true risk-sharing model with advanceable leads and candidates.”

AI in discovery

The Valo accord is not the only AI-focused partnership CRL has established. In April 2021 the CRO partnered with Valence Discovery, a developer of AI technology based at Mila, the research center established by Université de Montréal and McGill University in Montreal.

Like the Valo agreement, the Valence deal was also focused on the use of AI for the discovery of novel small molecule drug candidates.

Image: Stock Photo Secrets

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