BenevolentAI announced that it has signed a collaboration with Merck. The collaboration will enable Merck to leverage BenevolentAI’s end-to-end AI (artificial intelligence) platform capabilities and gain access to a skillful team of interdisciplinary drug discovery scientists. This is done with aim of identifying and developing compounds, through hit identification (Hit ID) to pre-clinical stage.
BenevolentAI will leverage its suite of AI chemistry design tools, in combination with its equipped wet lab facility in Cambridge (UK). This will deliver small molecule drug development candidates into Merck pipeline, ready for onward pre-clinical and clinical development.
Under terms of agreement, BenevolentAI will be eligible for payments of up to $594 million (€557.94 million), consisting of a low double-digit million dollar upfront payment on signing and then potentially discovery, development and commercial milestones. Tiered royalties will also be payable on net sales of any commercialised products.
“Our strategic collaboration with Merck exemplifies BenevolentAI’s unique capability to leverage AI to accelerate drug discovery. Our proprietary technology and extensively validated approach of combining AI, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, and in vivo pharmacology supports the discovery of innovative drug candidates in fewer cycles. We look forward to working with the Merck team and are excited at the opportunities in our partnership.” says Joanna Shields, chief executive officer of BenevolentAI.
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