Cerevel and Cyclica join in AI for neuroscience

Cerevel Therapeutics, which specialises in therapies for central nervous system disorders, and Cyclica, an AI for drug discovery company, are collaborating to accelerate the research and discovery of novel medicines for neuroscience diseases.

The collaboration will see Cerevel use Cyclica’s Ligand Express and Ligand Design AI platforms to screen, identify, design and evaluate compounds directed at pre-specified targets for neuroscience diseases. Terms of the collaboration have not yet been disclosed.

Ligand Design and Ligand Express provide an integrated, end-to-end platform to help researchers design advanced lead-like molecules that minimize unwanted off-target effects, while providing a holistic understanding of a molecule’s activity.

Cereval combines “technology and a differentiated approach to developing model medicines,” said Dr John Renger, chief scientific officer at Cereval Therapeutics.

The company plans to use Cyclica’s AI platform for high throughput screening in compound identification and optimization, which Cereval believes can “more efficiently identify new therapeutic molecules with symptomatic or disease-modifying potential”, he added.

“Leveraging Cyclica’s multi-targeted, proteome-wide approach, combined with Cerevel’s novel… pursuit of advancing neuroscience, has the potential to bring medicines to patients suffering from neurological diseases faster,” Vern De Biasi, vice president and global head of strategic partnerships at Cyclica, said.

Cerevel also said it will use AI, alongside human genetic analyses and DNA-encoded chemical libraries, to pursue undisclosed targets for neurological indications, including those with disease-modifying potential, and better understand the therapeutic potential of numerous chemical lead series.

“AI-based in silico drug design has made dramatic progress over the past five years and can significantly enhance our approach to designing potent and selective small molecules based upon predicted three-dimensional structure of protein targets,” David Stone, head of genetics and biomarkers at Cerevel Therapeutics, said.

“We will use Cyclica’s AI platforms to rapidly generate unique chemical matter for synthesis and testing, with the goal of faster development of new medicines for patients living with neuroscience diseases,” he added.

“Cyclica’s drug discovery platform accelerates pre-clinical drug development by considering the polypharmacological profiles and medicinal properties of drug candidates simultaneously during the design process,” Vijay Shahani, director of applied science at Cyclica, concluded.