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November Edition 2021

BenevolentAI – Uniting Human and Machine Intelligence to Discover New Ways to Treat Diseases


Although Artificial intelligence (AI) is touching every sphere of our lives, especially in the healthcare domain, its impact is truly life changing. Although human physicians will not be replaced by AI doctors however, AI will definitely prove useful in simplifying clinical decision especially in the area of radiology. Through imitation of human cognitive functions, it enhances the sector’s availability of both, structured such as image, genetic and electrophysiological data and unstructured data such as clinical notes and medical journals and also analytical techniques through AI and machine learning. In healthcare, AI is effective in areas of early detection, diagnosis, treatment, prediction, and prognosis evaluation in diseases such as cancer, neurology, and cardiology. Through application of big data analytics, one can gather relevant information from piles of healthcare data; such insight can assist in clinical decision. Also, AI helps incorporate self-correcting abilities and facilitates auto updation of medical information in healthcare devices.

BenevolentAI is the global leader in the development and application of artificial intelligence (AI) for scientific innovation. The firm primarily aims to accelerate the journey from inventive ideas to medicines for patients by developing AI to generate new treatments for some of the world’s 8,000 untreated diseases. Its team of technologists, AI researchers, and scientists builds and applies AI to the entire drug discovery and development process. The technology unlocks what is not known by creating new ideas based on established facts to provide a different understanding of disease, which leads to inventive steps and real insights that drive the development of new medicines and treatments.

Using AI and Machine Learning Technology to Discover Life-Saving Drugs

Clinically proven and FDA approved COVID-19 treatment hypothesis: The emerging global threat from COVID-19 demanded immediate action. With cases rising rapidly, they set up a specialist team to use its AI-drug discovery platform to search for existing drugs — already proven safe — that could be repurposed to treat the virus. Together by building bespoke drug repurposing workflow customizations, they used their Knowledge Graph and AI tools to search for approved drugs that could treat COVID-19, focusing on those that might block the viral infection process. They identified baricitinib — a drug owned by Eli Lilly and approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis — as the strongest treatment candidate.

Atopic Dermatitis: It is common worldwide and affects people of all ages, from newborns to adults 65 years of age and older. The condition is long lasting and tends to flare periodically, with symptoms ranging from excessively dry, itchy skin to painful, itchy rashes that cause sleepless nights, low self-esteem and interfere with everyday life. It can be a difficult disease to endure as the current standard of care topical treatments (applied directly to the skin) include corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors which are both associated with significant safety risks with long term use. There is an urgent unmet need for an effective and safe alternative topical therapy for the broad patient population. To meet this need, company designed and developed a novel small-molecule treatment, BEN-2293, to address the debilitating itch and inflammation in both adults and children.

BEN-2293 is a first-in-class, selective, highly potent small-molecule Pan-Trk antagonist. It is formulated to be administered topically, with a pharmacokinetic profile designed for low systemic exposure to deliver the optimal safety and efficacy profile in treating itch and inflammation from AD. BEN-2293 is currently being studied in a Phase I/II proof-of-concept, randomized, first-in-human clinical trial in adult patients with mild to moderate disease.

The Benevolent Platform®: Built on powerful data foundations and state of the art technology, the Benevolent Platform® empowers scientists to decipher the vast and complex code underlying human biology and find new ways to treat disease. The knowledge graph is therapeutic area agnostic and data fabric enables powerful synergies across the entire drug discovery and development process. The chemical space for exploration is infinitely vast and only a small fraction of it can potentially be made into medicines. Its AI-augmented models empower chemists to evaluate millions of molecular structures, generate drug-like molecules, and design better drugs in fewer cycles.

The Visionary Leader at the Helm of BenevolentAI

Joanna Shields serves as the Chief Executive Officer of BenevolentAI. She is a tech industry veteran with over 25 years' experience building and scaling global companies, including Facebook, Bebo, Aol, Google, Real Networks, and Efi. Before joining BenevolentAI, she served in the UK Government as Under Secretary of State and Minister for Internet Safety & Security, Digital Economy Adviser and Chair and CEO of TechCityUK. Ms. Joanna is passionate about creating responsible technology that benefits humanity. She is a leading advocate for children's rights and safety online and founder of the WeProtect Global Alliance and a Life Peer of the House of Lords.

“We are the only AI Company to successfully identify a drug to treat COVID-19.”