AI-driven innovation lab formed by AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer and Teva
The lab was formed by the alliance of four pharmaceutical companies – AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer and Teva – alongside Amazon Web Services Inc. and the Israel Biotech Fund. The consortium’s launch follows obtaining a government tender for the establishment of an innovation lab in December 2020 after the Israel Innovation Authority identified life sciences as a vital area for growth and investment potential.
AION Labs will create and invest in early stage startup teams focused on AI and computational biology in drug discovery and development, providing resources and mentorship to develop new technologies that address the most acute challenges. and the most important in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Every start-up will harness the power of artificial intelligence, along with the scale and security of the cloud, to find new treatments faster and more efficiently, avoid animal experiments and advance healthcare to medicine. patient-centric precision ”says AION Labs.
AION Labs will include both a wet lab, where biomedical research will be performed, and a cloud-based computational lab environment, focused on the development of new algorithms and computational methods with the goal of accelerating discovery and development of new potential therapies.
Mati Gill, a former senior executive at Teva Pharmaceuticals, will lead the lab as CEO, while Yair Benita, Ph.D., former head of computational biology at Compugen and scientific operations at CytoReason and senior scientist at MSD, has been appointed technical director. .
AION Labs has also entered into a strategic partnership with BioMed X, an independent biomedical research institute based in Heidelberg, Germany. BioMed X has proven itself in the seeding of biomedical innovations at the interface between academic research and the pharmaceutical industry. BioMed X’s innovation model, based on global crowdsourcing and local incubation of the brightest talent and research ideas, will serve as the R&D engine to propel AION Lab’s business creation model.
Jim Weatherall, Vice President, Data Science and AI, R&D, AstraZeneca said, “Data, analytics and AI are already starting to transform the way we discover and develop new drugs and I think we’re just the tip of the iceberg in terms of promise.
“Through AION Labs, we have the potential to solve some of the biggest R&D challenges and find new and better ways to discover, test and accelerate the potential drugs of tomorrow. ”