German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim is teaming up with IBM to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in its drug discovery efforts. The partnership aims to harness IBM’s foundation model technology to accelerate the development of antibody therapeutics for various medical conditions.
IBM’s AI technology in drug discovery
Boehringer Ingelheim has joined the growing list of pharmaceutical giants embracing AI-driven solutions for drug discovery. The collaboration with IBM will utilize the tech giant’s foundation model, which has been developed and trained in IBM’s computer labs. The AI model will undergo further refinement by incorporating proprietary data provided by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The primary goal of this collaboration is to expedite the discovery of new antibody therapeutics. By inputting critical information related to disease targets such as sequence, structure, and molecular profiles, the AI model can conduct simulations of experiments. These simulations aid in identifying antibody molecules with the highest potential for success. These promising molecules are then tested in laboratory settings, with the outcomes used to refine the AI model further.
IBM’s foundation model technology has already demonstrated its effectiveness in generating biologics and small molecules with relevant target affinities. The tech giant has a history of involvement in the pharmaceutical sector, having granted Pfizer access to its IBM Watson cognitive computing capabilities in 2016. More recently, Moderna partnered with IBM to explore the application of quantum computers in drug development.
IBM has been at the forefront of developing generative AI models that extend beyond language applications. Alessandro Curioni, Vice President of Accelerated Discovery at IBM Research, highlighted the significance of this collaboration. He expressed enthusiasm about bringing IBM’s multimodal foundation model technologies to Boehringer Ingelheim, a renowned leader in antibody-based therapy development. The collaboration aims to significantly accelerate Boehringer’s ability to create innovative therapeutics.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to AI-enabled innovation
Boehringer Ingelheim’s global head of biotherapeutics discovery, Andrew Nixon, expressed his excitement about the collaboration with IBM. He noted that both parties share a vision of making in silico biological drug discovery a reality. This partnership is expected to establish an unprecedented platform for accelerated antibody discovery, ultimately leading to the development of new treatments for patients facing high unmet medical needs.
The integration of IBM’s foundation model technology into Boehringer’s drug discovery pipeline reflects the company’s commitment to staying at the forefront of pharmaceutical innovation. By leveraging AI and machine learning, Boehringer aims to expedite the identification and development of promising therapeutic candidates, ultimately benefiting patients worldwide.
The utilization of AI in drug discovery is revolutionizing the pharmaceutical industry. By harnessing the power of AI models like IBM’s foundation model, companies can streamline the process of identifying potential drug candidates, significantly reducing the time and resources required for research and development. This technology enables researchers to explore a vast array of molecular possibilities and predict which compounds are most likely to succeed in the laboratory.
A collaborative approach to innovation
Collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and tech giants like IBM are becoming increasingly common as the industry recognizes the potential of AI and machine learning. These partnerships leverage the strengths of both parties, with pharmaceutical expertise combined with cutting-edge technology. The result is a more efficient and effective drug discovery process, ultimately benefiting patients by bringing new treatments to market faster.
As Boehringer Ingelheim and IBM embark on this collaborative journey, the pharmaceutical industry as a whole is watching closely. The successful integration of AI into drug discovery processes has the potential to transform the way new therapies are developed and delivered to patients. This partnership exemplifies the commitment of both organizations to advancing medical research and improving healthcare outcomes.