How Protai’s AI-powered platform is improving drug discovery

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As more healthcare providers and vendors continue to work to improve patient care using AI and data, the Tel Aviv-based, AI-powered drug Discovery Startup Protite claims that it is reshaping the drug discovery and development process using Proteomics. Giving and end-to-end AI-based platform. The company said its AI-powered platform maps the course of the disease at the protein level, increasing its ability to monitor cellular function and improving how new drugs are detected cost-effectively.

Protay noted in a recent press release that regardless of the contribution of genome-level information to drug research and development efforts, it fails to represent the functional level of cells reflected and dominated by proteins.

“Lack of functional understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the disease is one of the major shortcomings of the current drug discovery and development process,” Protai said.

Kirill Pazner, an AI expert and CTO of Protea, told VentureBeat that Protea brings a data-centric approach to AI and what it does. The company draws inspiration from “computational photography” technologies used in smartphone cameras for image enhancement features such as HDR, 20x zoom and night vision – according to Pavzner, applying similar ideas to the problem of protein identification in the mass spectrometry process.

“We use the enhanced number of proteins and interactions we observe to obtain an explanatory biology – predictions of how a given protein network (human or otherwise) behaves in different situations. For example, how they behave after being exposed to drugs, “said Pavzner.

The company said in a written statement that Protei has stepped out of stealth mode with બીજ 8 million in seed funding to provide a proteomics-based platform for faster and more accurate drug discovery. The fund was co-led by Grove Ventures and Pitango Venture Capital and will help further develop Protea’s platform, accelerate its research programs and expand its partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.

Out of the research phase

Protai said its technology has moved beyond the research phase. Pavzner said the company already has a proof-of-concept in lung cancer, where it has identified several valuable protein targets. The company added that it is currently pursuing these goals in preclinical development.

The approach aims to enable Protein to increase drug accuracy and improve the development process, save time and reduce R&D costs, the company said.

Protai claims that its approach differs from others in the industry in that it focuses on disease protein levels, while most search platforms focus on genetics (DNA / RNA) data, a mere proxy of reality.

“Proteins and their interactions are where the real biological action takes place,” Pavzner said.

Protai is like a unique compass for directing drug discovery, said Iran Seger, CEO and co-founder of Protai. He said the company is systematically mapping diseases at the protein level so that it can create new levels of functional information that enable it to better identify therapeutic and diagnostic targets for better coping with a wide range of complex diseases.

Market competition and collaboration opportunities

Despite competition from Protein’s tool companies and AI-for-pharma companies, the company says it has been leading the way in building an internal medicine development pipeline leading to the preclinical and clinical stages.

Pevzner said Protai is collaborating with pharmaceutical companies on joint projects focusing on cancer, but will consider expanding into autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases in the near future.

“The market can be divided into different types of players. Large pharma companies follow the same disease areas and signs as us. We are open to collaborating and bringing each company’s strength to the table, “said Pavzner.

While tool companies that develop solutions to better identify proteins tend to optimize for the number of proteins identified, Protei says its platform has an edge because it optimizes for better biological specification and predictability as well as drug development.

Furthermore, Protai says its technology is ahead of AI-for-pharma companies that use genomic and transcriptomic (RNA) data, as they provide only proxies for reality, while the actual action takes place at the protein level.

R&D expansion

In anticipation of this additional capital, Protai will expand its platform to all R&D phases of the drug, including the following:

  • Selecting the appropriate biological model when performing preclinical testing
  • Selection of suitable patients during clinical trials
  • Expansion of the indication of already approved drugs.

All of this is based on what the company calls “explainable biology” and solves the challenge of having biological predictions on how a given protein network responds to a particular treatment.

Protai claims to have created the world’s largest and most diverse proteomics database with over 50,000 clinical samples, combined with large clinical datasets, as well as healthy samples from various organs and signals.

The company says this allows it to establish a baseline that precisely mimics biological functional processes for various diseases and accelerates drug R&D through clinical and preclinical phases.


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