Partnership links immunotherapy and AI

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BioNTech and InstaDeep collaboration will strive for breakthroughs in three core areas

Building on a business relationship that was established in 2019, BioNTech SE and InstaDeep Ltd have struck a multi-year partnership that, companies say, will employ the most up-to-date developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology to develop novel immunotherapies, including vaccines, for cancers and infectious diseases, such as Covid-19.

As part of the collaboration, the companies will form a joint AI Innovation Lab in both London and Mainz, Germany, to advance various plans surrounding drug discovery and design, protein engineering, manufacturing and supply chain optimization. The lab will combine InstaDeep’s expertise in AI, ML and digitalization alongside BioNTech’s immunotherapy knowledge.

The alliance will emphasize three areas:

  • Original drug design: BioNTech is advancing mRNA-based vaccines (most notably with Pfizer, as they work towardsa coronavirus vaccine) and therapeutics, and will use InstaDeep’s DeepChain protein design platform to design new mRNA sequences for protein targets, including for its RiboMab and RiboCytokine platforms, which use mRNA to encode antibodies and cytokines in vivo.
  • Innovative analytics: Both companies plan to receive insights from public and proprietary meta datasets, along with anonymized patient data through the use of ML and edge analytics.
  • Manufacturing and supply chain optimization: BioNTech will use AI and ML applications to further expand upon manufacturing and supply chain processes.

Ugur Sahin, MD, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, sees this as an ideal time to further grow in the immunotherapy market through opportunities in advanced digitalization.

“We see a significant opportunity at the intersection of AI and immunology by computational design of new precision immunotherapies,” he explained. “This collaboration will expand our digital capabilities and optimize our operations across the value chain. We look forward to working with InstaDeep to advance the next wave of innovation in the field.”