AION Labs, Israel-based alliance of AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Teva, Israel Biotech Fund and Amazon Web Services (AWS), to start second global crowdsourcing initiative based on the innovation model of Germany’s BioMed X Institute
Call for application seeks to identify global research talent for new startup company in field of: Smart AI to Advance Clinical Trial Readiness of Drug Candidates
REHOVOT, Israel and HEIDELBERG, Germany, December 13, 2021. AION Labs, a first-of-its-kind innovation lab spearheading the adoption of AI technologies and computational science to solve therapeutic challenges, and German independent research institute BioMed X, announced today the launch of the second global call for application to identify biomedical scientists and inventors to form a new startup at AION Labs’ headquarters in Rehovot, Israel.
The chosen AION Labs startup team will be sponsored by several industry-leading partners and supported by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA). The sponsors of this call for application are AstraZeneca, Merck, and Pfizer, with close support from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Most drug candidates fail in clinical trials because of unexpected safety issues or lack of efficacy in human subjects. Omics technologies have improved dramatically in recent years allowing for extensive tissue and single cell profiling over time. These technologies are routinely applied in large scale preclinical in-vitro and in-vivo studies. However, these multi-omics datasets are heterogenous, not integrated and unreliable in predicting human biology. There is currently no automated solution that employs all preclinical data in a way that allows a reliable assessment of the clinical trial readiness of a drug candidate.
AION Labs is inviting computational biologists and biomedical scientists at academic and industry research labs worldwide to propose the development of a versatile next-generation computational platform that can identify hidden safety liability and lack of efficacy and suggest focused human in vitro perturbation assays to close identified gaps in the drug candidate pre-clinical data package. The AION Labs pharma partners involved in this project will provide a wealth of data for model training and their expertise in setting specifications and evaluating the outcome. Original ideas that go far beyond the current state-of-the-art are being encouraged.
“AION Labs is proud and excited to be launching our second call for application,” said Yair Benita, CTO of AION Labs. “We look forward to providing the chosen startup with our strong resources and mentorship as we work together to develop a cutting-edge solution to significantly improve the probability of success of drug candidates in clinical trials.”
As part of the online application procedure, interested candidates are requested to submit a competitive project proposal. After a preliminary short-listing round, candidates will be invited to a five-day innovation boot camp in Rehovot. With the support of experienced mentors from the pharma, tech and VC industries, the winning team of scientists will be trained and guided during a fully-funded incubation period of up to four years towards becoming an independent startup.