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The companies will develop a digital platform for the development and lifecycle management of antibiotics.
On Dec. 18, 2018, Novartis’ Sandoz announced the signing of an agreement with Ares Genetics, a subsidiary of Curetis, a provider of solutions for infectious disease diagnostics and therapeutics, to jointly develop a digital platform for the development and lifecycle management of antibiotics.
The companies intend to develop a digital anti-infectives platform combining established microbiology laboratory methods with advanced bioinformatics and artificial intelligence (AI) methods to support drug development and lifecycle management. The agreement will allow Sandoz to leverage Ares Genetics’ database on the genetics of antibiotic resistance, ARESdb, and the ARES Technology Platform for Sandoz’ anti-infective portfolio.
In the short to midterm, the collaboration aims to repurpose existing antibiotics and design value-added medicines, with the objective of expanding indication areas and overcoming antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In the longer term, the platform would inform development of novel anti-infectives that are less prone to resistance, thus helping to preserve antibiotics as an effective treatment option, the companies report.
The agreement covers the first phases of the collaboration, during which Sandoz will provide agreed R&D funding to Ares Genetics. Further financial details are not being disclosed.
Ares’ digital health platform combines an NGS-based Universal Pathogenome Assay (ARESupa) with a cloud-based decision support and reporting system (AREScds) that is sustainably keeping pace with rapidly evolving AMR based on an AI-powered in-vitrodiagnostics (IVD) reference database (ARESdb). ARESdb contains thousands of whole genome-sequenced clinical isolates collected from more than 200 centers globally.
“Together with Sandoz, we are working on informing drug positioning and lifecycle management using big data and [AI] approaches in combination with experimental data and our extensively curated reference database on antibiotic resistance,” said Dr. Andreas Posch, managing director and CEO of Ares Genetics, in a company press release. “We believe that our approach can substantially and cost-effectively help in overcoming antibiotic resistance with existing drugs as well as developing new drugs that are less prone to encounter resistance.”
Sandoz AI medical lead Nick Adomakoh added: “This collaboration is a key step towards that goal, allowing us to leverage our collective capabilities to take the fight directly to AMR, by using cutting-edge big data and AI approaches combined with traditional data sets. We believe that this approach can substantially increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our efforts to combat AMR with existing medicines, while also helping us to develop new, value-added therapies that are less prone to resistance.”