Israeli-headquartered, AION Labs, and German independent research institute, BioMed X, this week announced their third global call for biomedical scientists and interested investors to apply for a new AION Labs startup in Rehovot focused on “AI-enabled design and optimization of antibodies for targeted therapies”.
AION Labs, is a first-of-its-kind innovation lab spearheading the adoption of AI technologies and computational science – while leveraging the cloud – to solve therapeutic challenges. The consortium is the result of the a successful application for a government tender to establish an Innovation Lab in December 2020, after the Israel Innovation Authority identified life sciences as a vital area for growth potential and investment.
AION Labs’ alliance partners and pharmaceutical multinationals AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Teva, and biotech investment companies Israel Biotech Fund and Amazon Web Services sponsored the call for application. The Israel Innovation Authority and the Digital Israel office will sponsor and support the new AION Labs startup team once it is assembled.
For this new push for medicinal innovation, AION Labs seeks to address the shortfalls associated with antibody treatments, the standard therapies used to alleviate several diseases and infections including COIVD-19. Unfortunately, the time it takes to discover and develop optimized antibody therapeutics is still a slow process, often spanning years. AI, however, “has the potential to broaden the explored sequence space, accelerate the selection of fully optimized antibodies, and shorten overall lead discovery times by successfully predicting relevant parameters”.
AION Labs calls on experts and specialists in computational biology, bio- and cheminformatics, artificial intelligence, and antibody and protein engineering to propose development strategies for next-gen computational platforms equipped with advanced AI algorithms capable of “making an existing antibody a better drug while reducing design iterations, optimization of cycle times, and lowering attrition rates,”
“AION Labs is eager to tackle yet another pharmaceutical R&D challenge,” said Dr. Yair Benita, CTO of AION Labs. “We’re anticipating another strong round of applications and look forward to working together with the chosen startup to develop a cutting-edge solution to substantially improve the design and optimization of antibodies for targeted therapies.”
After submitting project proposals and a preliminary short-listing round, interested candidates will be invited to a five-day innovation boot camp in Rehovot. The winning team of scientists will be trained and guided throughout a fully-funded incubation period of up to four years towards becoming an independent startup.
Further details about this call for application can be found on the AION Labs website: www.aionlabs.com. Interested candidates are invited to apply via the BioMed X Career Space at https://career.bio.mx/call/2022-AIL-C03 before April 10, 2022.