RARE Daily

Recursion Enters Collaboration with Roche and Genentech in Neuroscience and Oncology

December 7, 2021

Recursion, a company industrializing drug discovery and development, entered a collaboration with Roche and Roche Group member Genentech potentially worth billions and that it describes as a future-looking model of technology-enabled target and drug discovery.

Recursion will work with both Roche and Genentech’s R&D units to leverage technology-enabled drug discovery through the Recursion Operating System (OS) to rapidly identify novel targets and advance medicines in key areas of neuroscience as well as in an oncology indication.

“We are excited to partner with Roche and Genentech to bring Recursion’s leading-edge, tech-enabled drug discovery platform, the Recursion OS, to bear against some of the most complex diseases impacting humanity,” said Chris Gibson, co-founder and CEO of Recursion. “Technology-enabled drug discovery is here, Recursion is leading the space, and we are pursuing some of the most intractable areas of biology with the very best partners by our side.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Recursion will receive an upfront payment of $150 million and is eligible for additional performance-based research milestones. Under the collaboration, Roche and Genentech (combined) may initiate up to 40 programs, each of which, if successfully developed and commercialized, could yield more than $300 million in development, commercialization, and net sales milestones for Recursion, as well as tiered royalties on net sales.

The collaboration will leverage the Recursion OS, an integrated, multi-faceted system for generating, analyzing, and deriving insight from massive proprietary biological and chemical datasets. The OS, which brings together wet-lab and dry-lab biology at scale to further industrialize and digitize drug discovery, will be deployed to phenomically capture chemical and genetic perturbations in neuroscience-related cell types and select cancer cell lines. The resulting phenomics data, generated in Recursion’s automated laboratories, will be analyzed by Recursion’s proprietary convolutional neural networks to turn these data into mathematical representations of biology that can be leveraged to identify novel biological relationships and initiate and advance therapeutic programs. This dataset will be potentiated by extensive single-cell perturbation screening data from Roche and Genentech, and the parties will collaborate on new machine learning algorithms to generate highly granular maps of human cellular biology.

Recursion, Roche, and Genentech will leverage the insights generated from the collaboration’s maps of human cellular biology to rapidly find and develop medicines against novel targets in neuroscience and the oncology indication for up to a decade or longer. Programs already underway at Recursion in oncology or neuroscience are not part of the collaboration and will be independently developed.

“This collaboration highlights the potential of technology to transform drug discovery and unlock previously unknown insights into complex disease in an unbiased way,” said James Sabry, global head of Pharma Partnering at Roche.

Photos: James Sabry, global head of Pharma Partnering at Roche

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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