TARA Biosystems and VantAI team up to accelerate drug development for cardiac disease

VantAI and TARA Biosystems today announced the launch of a biology-driven, AI-enabled collaboration for accelerated cardiac drug development.

The partnership will leverage TARA's state-of-the-art in vitro human biology models and VantAI's leading computational drug discovery capabilities to identify and develop new therapies to fight cardiac disease.

Combining the power of VantAI's machine learning-enabled gene-disease mapping techniques with the rich, high-fidelity phenotypic data generated from TARA's in vitro human cardiac disease models, TARA and VantAI will identify novel drug targets linked to cardiac disease.

Then, the team will use VantAI's in silico platform--which can design and model both traditional small molecules and more exotic chemistry--to produce novel molecules that effectively modulate these targets, many of which have been previously considered "undruggable."

VantAI's platform will prioritize modality strategies and use generative approaches to design precise chemistry that is effective while also displaying favorable pharmaceutical properties.

The functional response of these novel molecules will then be evaluated in TARA's induced pluripotent stem cell-derived human cardiac tissue models, which include a repertoire of healthy, gene-edited, patient-derived, and drug-induced phenotypes of human disease.

The TARA models represent a highly versatile platform for capturing robust physiologic endpoints of human cardiac function, including contractility, electrophysiology, calcium signaling, structure, as well as genomic, proteomic, and metabolic profiles.

These comprehensive experimental results will be fed back to VantAI's in silico platform to both power further refinement of lead candidates and expand the VantAI-TARA joint data graph view of cardiac disease systems.

This tight coupling of VantAI's in silico technology and TARA's in vitro human biology creates a high-throughput feedback loop for identifying and optimizing potential drug candidates, which has already produced hits for several drug targets and promises to generate many more.

Using the combined strengths of the two companies, these molecules will be optimized to rapidly advance clinical-stage drug candidates.

"The VantAI-TARA partnership is a timely demonstration of the transformative potential of biology-driven, AI-enabled drug discovery and development," said Misti Ushio, CEO of TARA Biosystems.

"The biological relevance of VantAI's models make it an ideal development partner and through our closely integrated 'in silico, in vitro' approach, we look forward to being able to more rapidly deliver effective cardiac therapies to patients."

As part of the collaboration, TARA will also work with VantAI to generate custom datasets specifically designed to improve VantAI's existing training data.

These custom datasets will center around molecules chosen for their ability to maximize machine learning model performance and applicability domain, representing a novel investment in data generation that will enable VantAI's models to achieve previously unattainable levels of accuracy and predictive power.

Working with TARA allows us to build better models than ever before, and then rapidly validate our in silico predictions in the lab. TARA's industry-leading technology platform and the TARA team's deep expertise in cardiac disease biology provide the perfect complement to our computational capabilities."

Zach Carpenter, President, VantAI

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