Charles River Laboratories (CRL) International has granted artificial intelligence (AI) application firm Aitia access to its drug discovery and optimization platform.
The agreement will see Aitia use CRL’s platform – called Logica – to optimize discovery and early-phase development projects focused on neurodegenerative disease and oncology.
Under the deal CRL has made an equity investment in Aitia, terms of which were not disclosed.
CEO Colin Hill predicted CRL tech, in combination with AItia’s experience with causal AI and digital twins – would aid drug research.
"Unravelling the complex genetic and molecular circuitry of neurodegenerative disorders is critical to the discovery of treatments that significantly slow or reverse these devastating diseases.
"I do not believe we will get there without the insights from our Digital Twins, which now combined with the advantages of Logica, positions Aitia to rapidly translate our discoveries into novel drug candidates. We are excited to join forces with CRL, leveraging their decades of industry expertise in research to fuel our R&D efforts."
Julie Frearson, senior vice president and chief scientific officer at CRL, took a similar view, citing neurodegenerative disease as a likely area of focus.
"Combining Aitia's digital twins with Logica's next-generation solution stands to transform the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for neurological diseases and oncology. The research landscape for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's has moved slowly in recent years, and we are excited for the impact that this combined AI solution can deliver to patients."
In addition, the firms have also agreed to co-develop a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) digital Twin to predict the best tumor models for in vivo oncology research, with CRL providing PDX data.
CRL launched Logica in collaboration with co-developer Valo Health in 2022, describing it as an artificial intelligence powered drug solution that directly translates clients’ biological insights into optimized pre-clinical assets.