Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Enters into Option Agreement with Quris on its BioAI Platform for Clinical Safety Prediction
February 10, 2022 00:00 ET
BOSTON and TEL-AVIV, Israel – February 10, 2022 — Quris, an artificial intelligence (AI) innovator disrupting the pharmaceutical arena, today announced it has signed an agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, allowing Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to assess Quris’ BioAI safety prediction platform, comparing it to traditional in vitro and in vivo approaches.
“The pharmaceutical industry is modernizing drug discovery, and innovations in AI hold significant promise,” noted Quris Scientific Advisory Board Member Dr. Robert S. Langer, co-founder of Moderna and lauded MIT professor. “As Quris expands its collaborations with pharmaceutical companies, this will hopefully lead to new ways to find novel drugs that safely meet patients’ needs in the years ahead.”
Quris’ BioAI safety prediction platform introduces a unique concept (18 granted and pending patents), which integrates miniaturized human tissues on a chip, nano-sensing, and machine learning, to predict which drug candidates will work safely in humans.
The collaborative project allows Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to assess Quris’ platform with the initial assessment focusing on identifying potential liver toxicity risks for drug candidates, with special emphasis on ones that preclinical experiments failed to identify. Subsequently, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has the option to obtain up to a five-year exclusive license to a specific disease domain. Upon Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany exercising the option, Quris may receive an undisclosed amount.
“The drug development process must be improved; drugs that are successful in mice, often still fail clinical trials in humans,” added Quris CEO Isaac Bentwich. “We are thrilled to be working with the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany team to assess Quris’ BioAI platform for clinical safety prediction.”
“In recent years, leaders around the globe have increasingly recognized that experiments in mice do not faithfully mimic what will work in people. With this and the goal to reduce and replace animal testing, there is now a great need for development of a new AI-based approach,” added Nobel Laureate Aaron Ciechanover, MD, DSc, Chairman of Quris’ Scientific Advisory Board. “Collaborations with pharmaceutical companies like Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will help assess Quris’ BioAI platform for clinical prediction, which uniquely integrates AI along with miniaturized ‘patients-on-a-chip’. If successful, this could lead to a much-needed transformation in drug development speed, safety and cost.”