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AI-Powered Engine Delivers Preclinical Candidate for Kidney Fibrosis

A global company specialising in the applications of the next-generation machine learning technologies for drug discovery and development announced that its AI-powered drug discovery platform has delivered the preclinical candidate (PCC) for kidney fibrosis.

The preclinical candidate has the desirable pharmacological properties, pharmacokinetic profile, and demonstrated highly promising results in in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies. Work is being done to advance this program to clinical trials.

The company’s Founder and CEO stated that chronic kidney disease affects 10% of the world’s population, and, unfortunately, it has no cure or efficacious drugs on the market. Kidney fibrosis is the common pathogenesis in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is a major unmet medical need.

The AI-powered drug discovery engine has uncovered novel targets and novel molecules that have demonstrated preclinical efficacy in kidney fibrosis. Moreover, the company’s used its InClinico engine to produce the actuarial models for multiple diseases driven by kidney fibrosis and are very excited about the clinical prospects of this program.

The Head of BioMedical Technology Cluster of HKSTP stated that biomedical technology is a strategic focus for both HKSTP and Hong Kong’s position as an innovation and technology hub. The Park is excited to witness a partner company achieve yet another milestone, which has been relentlessly striving to transform the future of drug discovery and development through AI. The discovery of the preclinical candidate further enhances HKSTP’s thriving biomedical technology ecosystem and strengthens Hong Kong’s broader position as a world-class hub in this space.

A significant breakthrough was made in February 2021 when the company announced that its AI system identified a novel drug target and novel compound to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which is another fibrotic disease affecting patients worldwide with high unmet medical needs. What also made the discovery noteworthy was that this was achieved within 18 months and a $2.6 million budget.

Repeating that success, the firm’s PandaOmics developed the target hypothesis for kidney fibrosis and used Chemistry42 to generate compounds with drug-like properties. The compound that markedly inhibited the development of fibrosis and significantly improved myofibroblast activation is critical for tissue repair and wound healing. The IND-enabling studies for this program are expected to be completed in 2022.

Global biomedical ICT market expected to grow

According to recent research, the biomedical ICT market is expected to reach US$57 billion by 2025. The field of biomedicine is concerned with the application of various natural science disciplines for the development of knowledge, interventions, and/or technologies for use in healthcare.

The Information and Communications Technology sector focuses on telecommunications, computing, and the integration of both. Related to ICT is the term TMT, which more broadly refers to Technology, Media, and Telecom. Both are related to the use of various digital technologies for communications, applications, commerce, and content. The convergence of biomedical and ICT represents a high opportunity area for both healthcare and ICT industries.

In addition to seeking cures to disease and ailment prevention, the convergence of biomedical and ICT technologies and solutions will lead to improved treatment efficacy as well as overall improvements in healthcare service delivery efficiency and effectiveness.

Various ICT tools may be employed such as IoT enabled monitoring to determine the effectiveness of medical procedures, which can be especially important when administering new and unproven healthcare modalities.

One specific example is the administration of vaccines, which is believed to potentially cause harm to a subset of the population based on epigenetics, which is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. This is believed to be an area in which a healthcare modality is designed with one intent (to inoculate one to prevent the onset of disease), but may actually trigger unintended consequences such as causing harm based on an individual’s unique gene expression.

With healthcare costs growing much faster than the general inflation rate, it is of the utmost importance to simultaneously seek improved treatment while continuously driving down business costs. These costs include ongoing operational expenditures as well as expensive R&D such as drug discovery and other pharmaceutical-related areas such as vaccine development that takes into account precision medicine practices.

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