Keen Therapeutics collaborates with Chemical.AI to boost drug R&D

Research into ferroptosis – a new form of programmed cell death – has become a popular area of ​​research since its discovery in 2012. The primary mode of regulation of ferroptosis is through the SLC7A11/GPX4 pathway, which biotech companies have used to develop ferroptosis. inductors.


Previous research has shown that specifically small molecule inhibitors targeting GPX4 can achieve long-lasting efficacy in several mouse tumor models. However, the development of small molecule GPX4 inhibitors can be challenging due to the lack of possible drug-binding pockets, and existing tool compounds exhibit low selectivity and poor pharmacokinetic properties.


Keen Therapeutics performed target screening and selected several ferroptosis-related targets. The company used the Systemic Scalable Chemical Space Explorer (SECSE), an algorithm-powered de novo drug design platform, to systematically explore the entire chemical space in relation to these targets. Hundreds of molecules have been designed, rapidly synthesized, then optimized.


With the support of the Chemical.AI team, Keen Therapeutics discovered compounds that were orally bioavailable and demonstrated good in vivo efficacy in less than two years, according to the company. The Chemical.AI team completed the rapid delivery of complex molecules and responded to Keen Therapeutics’ request for weekly compound reviews, significantly accelerating the design-manufacture-test-analyze (DMTA) cycle and improving the R&D efficiency, Dr. Yikai Wang, founder and CEO of Keen Therapeutics, said in a statement.


In chemical synthesis, as labor costs rise and labor supply begins to shrink, automation is playing an increasingly important role, companies say.


“The Keen Therapeutics team has a deep understanding of AI-based drug discovery and has already made breakthrough advances in several early-stage targets of tumor metabolism in a very short time, particularly in the area of ferroptosis,” Dr. Ning said. Xia, founder and CEO of Chemical.AI, said.


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