Pfizer is investing $20 million in Israeli startup that takes some of the trial and error out of drug development.
CytoReason collects data from pharmaceutical companies to simulate human diseases, tissue by tissue and cell by cell, allowing them to make data-driven decisions quickly and cost effectively.
Its AI-led platform can predict which patients may best respond to novel treatments, reduce the need for animal testing and development costs, and increase the likelihood of drug approval.
Pfizer, the American pharmaceutical company that has developed and shipped over 3.6 billion COVID-19 vaccines worldwide and is behind Viagra, will license the startup’s platform and disease models for its drug development programs. The partnership is potentially worth up to $110 million over the next five years.
Since the start of their collaboration in 2019, Pfizer has used CytoReason’s biological models in its research to enhance its understanding of the immune system across over 20 diseases.
“Pfizer has been a strategic partner of CytoReason since 2019, and we are thrilled to scale our collaboration as one of Pfizer’s trusted AI partners for accelerating drug development,” said David Harel, CEO and Co-founder of CytoReason.
“This partnership is advancing a significant shift in the biotech industry, and helping drive future R&D for pharmaceutical companies as they continue to use machine learning to develop treatments more efficiently.
“Transforming complex data into useful actionable insights will potentially provide leading researchers and scientists a roadmap to further develop their drug portfolios.”
Mikael Dolsten, Chief Scientific Officer and President of Pfizer, said: “We’re pleased to expand our strategic collaboration with CytoReason. We look forward to continuing our work with the company’s leading scientists, and to leveraging its cutting-edge platform.
“CytoReason’s biological data allows us to gain deeper insight into the best drug development pathways for patients, resulting in more informed decisions that are timely and cost-effective.”
CytoReason was founded in 2016, and has a team of 80 leading biologists, bioinformaticians and data engineers.