ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd (OTCMKTS:IPATF) (CVE:IPA), through its subsidiary, Talem Therapeutics, and New York-based EVQLV Inc announced a new collaboration aimed at accelerating the development of vaccine candidates against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In a statement, Victoria, British Columbia-based ImmunoPrecise said Monday that it has teamed up with EVQLV, an artificial intelligence (AI) company focused on accelerating the discovery and optimization of antibody therapies, as the companies work together to augment and accelerate Talem's coronavirus discovery program.
As part of the collaboration, EVQLV will perform “in silico antibody design and discovery” to generate novel, optimized antibody sequences leveraging lead candidate data from ImmunoPrecise’s discovery technologies, as well as previously published sequences.
EVQLV plans to utilize its high-speed, evolutionary algorithms with ImmunoPrecise’s expedited B cell Select and custom DeepDisplay antibody outputs to intelligently discover context-dependent representations that comprise the mutational space of therapeutic candidates for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus.
"We have been working diligently with EVQLV's executive team on strategic and operational alignments for the past nine months, an astonishingly fateful advantage under these circumstances, and are able, consequently, to leverage the benefits of this collaboration immediately," said ImmunoPrecise Antibodies CEO Jennifer Bath.
"Our time spent with EVQLV's management has demonstrated their immense capacity for creativity and thinking outside the box, while absorbing the complexities of IPA's technologies and outputs. We believe the two teams will create significant therapeutic value together," she added.
Screen millions of potential treatments computationally
EVQLV will build on ImmunoPrecise Antibodies vast sequence outputs as well as published data to identify and screen hundreds of millions of potential treatments in only days, a feat that would be impossible in a laboratory. Using a wide range of machine learning algorithms, EVQLV can filter candidates with a higher probability of success by computationally measuring and leveraging biological rules and unseen patterns.
ImmunoPrecise will then narrow the most promising, yet diverse, candidates and demonstrate their unique attributes by synthesizing and wet lab testing specific subsets of selected leads.
"We aim to dramatically reduce the time it takes to identify robust lead candidates with clinical relevance," noted Dr Bath. "It was clear to us that EVQLV and ImmunoPrecise were a textbook fit. Harnessing the most innovative technologies to more quickly and effectively tackle this global health crisis reflects the core of both company's philosophies, pushing the frontlines of innovation to improve human health and patient outcomes."
EVQLV's algorithms work by initially exploring approximately 10 therapeutic possibilities against each coronavirus target the team pursues. Based on the learning the AI gains from this process, EVQLV's computational engine is able to generate millions of potentially relevant therapeutic antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
End-to-end antibody discovery capabilities
In addition to collaborating to produce computationally generated therapies for SARS-CoV-2, the company noted that it would collaborate with EVQLV on its rapid discovery programs to quickly expand libraries of drugs for other diseases.
EVQLV CEO Andrew Satz said they were “excited” to be working with the “incredible team” at ImmunoPrecise.
“ImmunoPrecise's end-to-end antibody discovery capabilities and their highly sophisticated platforms are ideally optimized to leverage our computational technology to rapidly discover treatments for the coronavirus,” said Satz.
“By working together, we are supporting our shared commitment of using cutting edge technology to accelerate the identification and validation of novel therapies for those in need," he added.
Therapeutic candidates developed through the collaboration will remain owned by ImmunoPrecise, with commercial royalties issued to EVQLV on completion of pre-defined, commercial milestones, said the company.
ImmunoPrecise is a Canadian contract research organization focused on antibody discovery and manufacturing. The company’s attention is fixed on discovering and delivering the most relevant next generation antibodies, in a shorter period of time, with the highest probability of succeeding through clinical validation.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive