Clarivate Named SandboxAQ a “Company to Watch” for AI/ML use in Drug Discovery and Life Sciences

November 28, 2023
Clarivate Named SandboxAQ a “Company to Watch” for AI/ML use in Drug Discovery and Life SciencesClarivate Named SandboxAQ a “Company to Watch” for AI/ML use in Drug Discovery and Life Sciences

Recently, the UK-based global information services provider Clarivate released its annual Companies to Watch Report – this year focusing on innovative uses of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies in drug discovery and life sciences. SandboxAQ was identified as one of seven innovators using AI and quantum technologies (AQ) to advance both drug discovery and medical imaging. 

Specifically, we’re using AI simulation to understand a disease’s mechanism of action, identify novel targets, increase hit rates and optimize leads – turning molecules to medicine for some of the most challenging conditions. We’re also using AQ to enhance medical imaging, leveraging powerful quantum sensors to detect minute deviations in the heart’s magnetic field and AI to deliver higher-fidelity images and deeper diagnostic insights – in a more portable form factor that increases accessibility and decreases cost of ownership and operation.

Accelerating Drug Discovery and Improving Chances for Successful Clinical Trials

Developing a single drug can cost between $1.3 billion to $4 billion USD and require 10 to 15 years of clinical research and testing. Of the thousands of promising compounds conceived in labs each year, only a fraction successfully advance through clinical trials. The odds are further stacked against them: in the U.S., a mere 12% of drugs that enter clinical trials receive Food and Drug Administration approval.

Because of this risk, many biopharma companies focus on creating new versions of existing therapies – so-called “me too drugs” – that have large, established patient populations and where enough data exists to create a more effective or competitive treatment. One commercially successful drug can offset past R&D losses and fund future experimentation. Unfortunately, this means that more challenging conditions, those with higher failure rates and/or a lack of data used to train AI models, don’t receive the resources or funding they need.

That’s where SandboxAQ comes in. Our AI simulation technologies digitally generate previously unattainable data and insights based on the unequivocal quantum mechanical interactions of atoms and molecules. Leveraging these digital versions of drugs and their targets, researchers can tweak their chemical compounds and run billions of simulations simultaneously to rapidly discover those with the  greatest potential for success at clinical trials. AI simulation avoids costly and time-consuming physical lab experiments that are usually conducted serially.

We’re working with researchers at leading biopharma companies and universities, such as Riboscience and UCSF, to help advance their efforts to develop novel therapeutics for some of the most challenging conditions, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, for which little or no successful breakthroughs exist. In a short time, we’ve helped researchers like Dr. Stanley Prusiner of the UCSF Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases achieve confidence in treatments that have eluded the industry for decades.

On the business side, bringing life-saving or palliative therapies to market faster combined with lower R&D risk and costs decreases time-to-profitability and increases long-term revenue potential by extending patent lifespans. This could potentially lower the patient’s costs for said treatments, and encourage organizations to pursue other much-needed therapies.

Sensing New Opportunities to Improve Medical Imaging

Over the last several decades, technologies such as MRIs, PET and CT scans, etc., have saved countless lives. However, many of these advanced medical imaging devices (some of which are based on older quantum technologies) are expensive, bulky, and complex, requiring large, dedicated space in the hospital and specialized technicians to run, making them less accessible to patients. Recent advances in AQ technologies have enabled us to develop groundbreaking new medical imaging systems that measure the magnetic fields generated by organs in the human body. These devices will deliver faster, more accurate results and improve accessibility and clinical adoption by making them more cost-effective, portable, easier to use at point of care, and seamlessly integrated into the doctor's workflow. Our first prototype aims to revolutionize cardiac health through a powerful, non-invasive, heart imaging technique called magnetocardiography (MCG).

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally. In the U.S. alone, chest pain accounts for nearly 8 million emergency room visits annually. Fewer than 5% of these patients can be accurately diagnosed with standard methods like electrocardiogram (EKG). To address this challenge, we developed our MCG device and started first clinical studies with prominent research hospitals. Unlike EKGs, which measure electric signals that can be distorted as they pass through body tissue, quantum sensors measure the magnetic field generated by the heart, providing a more accurate reading of cardiac functions. Using AI, we filter out any external electromagnetic interference, which improves the fidelity even further.

In addition to delivering superior insights, MCGs can elevate patient care by filling the gap between low-cost EKG or biomarker tests (i.e., measuring cardiac enzyme levels) and high-cost or invasive procedures such as PET or CT scans and angiography. In rural or low-income communities, our device could remove the need to travel to more distant urban centers for advanced diagnosis during a time-critical cardiac event, and decrease the financial burden of these expensive tests.

The Clarivate report dives deeper into how combining AI and quantum is elevating patient care and accelerating drug development. Currently, there is only one AI-developed drug in Phase II clinical trials and more than 100 others in various stages of development. But with rapid advances in AI and quantum technologies, we can expect many more breakthroughs for novel therapies and more effective treatments getting to patients faster.

Register here to download a full copy of the report

No items found.