BenevolentAI and AstraZeneca Collaboration Yields Continued Success as Further Novel Target Progressed Into Portfolio


LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BenevolentAI (“BenevolentAI” or the “Company”) (Euronext Amsterdam: BAI), a leader in applying advanced AI to accelerate biopharma drug discovery, announces that AstraZeneca has added a novel target for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to its discovery portfolio through its collaboration with BenevolentAI.

  • Second target to be selected this year from the extended collaboration with AstraZeneca, highlighting continued positive progress in the field of target identification
  • Novel target for SLE was discovered using BenevolentAI’s AI-drug discovery platform and experimentally validated by AstraZeneca

BenevolentAI’s strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca began in 2019 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic kidney disease, with the collaboration expanded in January 2022 to include heart failure and SLE. The success today in the extension phase of the collaboration follows the announcement last month that AstraZeneca had selected a novel heart failure target to enter its portfolio and further demonstrates how the Benevolent PlatformTM can be applied across multiple therapeutic areas.

The strength of the collaboration in the identification of novel and robust targets is due to its innovative structure combining AstraZeneca’s scientific and disease-specific expertise with BenevolentAI’s AI-driven drug discovery platform and biomedical knowledge. As with the initial collaboration with AstraZeneca, the 2022 extension included an upfront payment on signing, as well as research funding alongside discovery, development and commercial milestones, in addition to tiered royalties on net sales of any commercialised products.

SLE, or lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly identifies the body’s own tissues as foreign. In people with lupus, the immune system creates autoantibodies to attack the body’s own tissues. These autoantibodies form immune complexes causing inflammation, pain and damage – often affecting the organs and joints in severe cases. Extreme fatigue and cognitive issues are also common, along with comorbidities including cardiovascular disease. Lupus disproportionately affects females and people of Asian, Black African and Caribbean heritage.

Dr Anne Phelan, Chief Scientific Officer of BenevolentAI, said:

“Following our recent success in the area of heart failure, I’m delighted that AstraZeneca has selected a novel target for SLE to enter its portfolio. The continued, fruitful efforts of our two companies working in collaboration will help bring potential new therapeutic options to lupus patients, whose quality of life is often severely limited by the disease.”

Prof Maria Belvisi, SVP and Head of Research and Early Development Respiratory and Immunology at AstraZeneca said:

“Our aim is to lead in lupus by continuing to discover and develop novel treatments that push the efficacy ceiling for patients, allowing more people to achieve remission. By combining our immunology disease area expertise and BenevolentAI’s AI-driven discovery platform, we are increasing our ability to identify new targets based on patient insights, complementing our portfolio of potential treatments for this debilitating disease.”

Category: non-regulatory

About BenevolentAI

At BenevolentAI (AMS: BAI), we serve patients by leveraging our proprietary and validated Benevolent Platform™ that integrates AI and science to uncover new biology, predict novel targets and develop first-in-class or best-in-class drugs for complex diseases. By applying proprietary advanced AI tools, in combination with in-house scientific expertise and wet-lab facilities, BenevolentAI is well-positioned to identify and accelerate novel drug discovery.

The Company’s business model presents multiple routes for value creation including discovery collaborations with pharma companies like AstraZeneca and Merck and advancing in-house pipelines to inflection points. Headquartered in London, with wet labs in Cambridge (UK), BenevolentAI is at the forefront of reshaping the future of drug discovery and delivering innovative medicines.


Catherine Isted – Chief Financial Officer
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