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Home Healthcare AI Drug Development Method Enables Rapid Progress

AI Drug Development Method Enables Rapid Progress

Collaboration between Recursion Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited has been announced that hopes to uncover new life-saving treatments at scale more safely, quickly, and less costly than ever before.

Recursion Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company that will use its discovery platform to put forward pre-clinical candidates for Takeda’s rare disease pipeline, called the TAK-celerator, in the next year.

Recursion uses AI to enhance traditional drug discovery methods. The company is currently in the process of building the world’s largest biological image dataset by capturing millions of microscopic images and modelling thousands of diseases in human cells.

In building the dataset the company is able to train neural networks to detect changes among thousands of cellular and subcellular aspects of various biological perturbations.

This is a technique the company calls “Phenomics” and enables the discovery of various drug candidates, drug targets, and novel biology efficiently and at scale.

“Takeda’s TAK-celerator has demonstrated an unparalleled desire to innovate in the drug discovery and early development space, which aligns perfectly with Recursion’s mission,” said co-founder and CEO of Recursion, Chris Gibson.

“We have an ideal opportunity for our innovative technology to add immediate value for both our partner and patients. We are tremendously excited to be working with an industry leader like Takeda.”

The TAK-celerator has been designed in such a way that it can leverage the resources of a major pharmaceutical company whilst still keeping the nimbleness and flexibility of a small biotech company.

It partners with academics, venture capitalists, and others in the industry to create a proof of concept design that will lead these programs forward either through Takeda or through other avenues such as joint ventures or standalone NewCos.

“This collaboration is an example of Takeda’s commitment to investing in emerging technologies to further the development of medicines in rare diseases, within our therapeutic areas of focus where there is an existing unmet need,” said Head of TAK-celerator for Takeda, Tauhid Ali, PhD.

“We recognize and are excited by the potential of Recursion’s discovery platform in that it provides researchers access to all known data about a disease state, enabling better decision-making about which molecules to pursue.”

If the collaboration is successful in meeting the approval of several new drugs, then the financial terms will be very favourable.

These include single-digit royalty payments which will be issued upon net sales, as well as an upfront payment and success-based milestones of more than $90 million.


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KC Cheung
KC Cheung has over 18 years experience in the technology industry including media, payments, and software and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and its applications in business. Over the years he has worked with some of the leading technology companies, building and growing dynamic teams in a fast moving international environment.
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