One of the key research areas will be the development of next generation vaccines and biopharmaceuticals – including for COVID-19 - as well as for the treatment of cancer and prevention and therapy of infectious diseases.
The partnership between Mainz-headquarted BioNTech (which is collaborating with Pfizer on one of the leading mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidates) and London-based InstaDeep will create a joint AI innovation lab between the two cities. The lab will advance a portfolio of initiatives across drug discovery and design, protein engineering, manufacturing and supply chain optimization.
Founded in 2014, InstaDeep has already developed collaborations in the global AI ecosystem: such as Google DeepMind, Nvidia and Intel. It was nominated by CB Insights as one of the 100 most promising AI start-ups in the world this year.
“The AI Innovation Lab will combine InstaDeep’s advanced capabilities in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digitalization along with BioNTech’s deep domain expertise in precision immunotherapies and its access to a wide variety of internal and external datasets,” say the companies.
The three key research areas are:
- Novel Drug Design: BioNTech is advancing a pipeline of novel mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutics and will apply InstaDeep’s DeepChain protein design platform to engineer new mRNA sequences for protein targets, including for its RiboMab and RiboCytokine platforms, which use messenger RNA to encode antibodies and cytokines in vivo.
- Advanced Analytics: BioNTech and InstaDeep plan to generate insights from public and proprietary meta datasets, as well as anonymized patient data through the use of machine learning and edge analytics to identify novel biological targets and predictive biomarkers.
- Manufacturing and Supply Chain Optimization: BioNTech plans to utilize AI and ML applications to further optimize manufacturing and supply chain processes. By employing the latest advances in robotics and autonomous decision-making algorithms, BioNTech aims to deliver higher efficiencies in drug manufacturing, logistics and supply chain processes.