New AI-based company targets discovery of new protein-based therapeutics

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 10, 2020 -- Flagship Pioneering has launched Generate Biomedicines, a new company that will use its machine learning-powered platform for the rapid discovery of new drugs across a range of modalities, including antibodies, peptides, enzymes, and cytokines, and entirely new protein-based therapeutics.

The company's proprietary Generate Biology platform will learn from known proteins to encode and apply the fundamental principles of how genetic sequences lead to protein structure and function to create novel protein sequences with optimized therapeutic potential, according to the company.

The platform can overcome conventional challenges of protein drug discovery. Using the platform, it will be possible to generate antibodies or bindings to prespecific epitopes on a target and antibodies to membrane targets or multiprotein complexes. The company anticipates the platform can also generate therapies that can agonize targets or control specific signaling, and selectively identify these molecules.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Generate Biomedicines applied the platform to generate therapeutic candidates against SARS-CoV-2 in a matter of weeks. The candidates are being developed in partnership with the Coronavirus Immunotherapy Consortium.

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