Policy & Regulation
Iktos Forges Collaboration with Germany-based Merck for Use of Iktos AI Technology across Three Drug Discovery Projects
15 March 2019 - - France-based Iktos, a company specialized in Artificial Intelligence for new drug design, has inked a collaboration agreement with German science and technology company Merck KGaA, where Iktos generative modelling artificial intelligence technology will be used to facilitate the rapid and cost-effective discovery and design of promising new compounds for Merck KGaA, the company said.

Iktos' AI technology, based on deep generative models, helps bring speed and efficiency to the drug discovery process, by automatically designing virtual novel molecules that have desired activities for treating a given disease.

This tackles one of the key challenges in drug design: rapid identification of molecules which simultaneously satisfy multiple bioactivity and drug-like criteria for clinical testing.

The generative modelling technology is already successfully established in other fields, such as image processing and automatic translation, but has only recently been applied to chemistry.

Iktos has recently announced collaborations with several biopharmaceutical companies where Iktos AI technology is used to accelerate the design of promising compounds, and has published, at the EFMC 2018 meeting, an experimental validation of the technology in a real-life drug discovery project.

Iktos is planning to release its SaaS software, Makya, as a beta-test version available for testing by customers, by H1 2019.

Incorproated in October 2016, Iktos is a French start-up company specialized in the development of artificial intelligence solutions applied to chemical research, more specifically medicinal chemistry and new drug design.

Iktos is developing a proprietary and innovative solution based on deep learning generative models, which enables, using existing data, to design molecules that are optimized in silico to meet all the success criteria of a small molecule discovery project.

The use of Iktos technology enables major productivity gains in upstream pharmaceutical R and D. Iktos offers its technology both as professional services and as a SaaS software platform, Makya.