Recursion, Takeda Ink $90 Million AI R&D Pact
Collaboration to leverage Recursion's AI-augmented phenotypic discovery platform, and Takeda's TAK-celerator™ program and chemical libraries
SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwired - October 10, 2017) - Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company that combines innovative biological science with artificial intelligence to discover new disease treatments at scale, today announced the formation of a research collaboration agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (
Recursion augments traditional drug discovery approaches, most prominently phenotypic screening, with artificial intelligence. By modeling thousands of diseases in human cells, and capturing hundreds of millions of microscopic images, the company is building the world's largest biological image dataset, currently growing by more than two million new images and 20 TB of data each week. This highly relatable and comprehensively annotated dataset enables the company to train neural networks and to use other sophisticated computational techniques to identify changes in thousands of cellular and subcellular features in the presence of various biological perturbations. This approach, which the company dubs 'Phenomics', enables unbiased discovery of novel biology, drug targets, or drug candidates at an unprecedented scale and pace.
"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 Chris Gibson, co-founder and CEO of Recursion. "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."
Takeda's TAK-celerator is designed to operate with the nimbleness and flexibility of a small biotech through external partnerships, whilst being able to leverage the resources of a major pharmaceutical company. The TAK-celerator partners with industry, academics and venture capital to generate preclinical proof of concept in rare disease indications of high unmet need, and then to identify paths forward for these programs, either through Takeda, or through innovative business models including joint ventures and 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 Tauhid Ali, Ph.D., Head of TAK-celerator for Takeda. "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."
Financial terms of the agreement include an upfront payment and success-based milestones of over $90 million should the collaboration result in multiple new drug approvals, and single digit royalty payments on net sales.
About Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Recursion Pharmaceuticals is an emerging biotechnology company based in Salt Lake City. Recursion combines experimental biology and bioinformatics with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to quickly and efficiently identify treatments for any disease which can be modeled at the cellular level. From its initial and continued focus on drug repurposing to treat rare diseases, Recursion has broadened its platform to probe rich data from high-throughput automated screens for a number of indications, including aging, inflammation, infectious disease, oncology, and diagnostics. Recursion's ultimate vision is to leverage technology to build a robust and reliable map of human cellular biology, which would enable a radical shift in the pace and scale at which new treatments could benefit patients. Learn more at www.recursionpharma.com, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.