Home Bots & Brains UCB and Microsoft expand collaboration on drug development with AI

UCB and Microsoft expand collaboration on drug development with AI

by Pieter Werner

UCB and Microsoft have announced a new multi-year, strategic collaboration to combine Microsoft’s computational services, cloud, and artificial intelligence (AI) with UCB’s drug discovery and development capabilities. As several drug discovery activities require the analysis of high-dimensional data sets or multi-modal unstructured information, Microsoft’s platform can support UCB’s scientists, including its data scientists, to discover new medicines in a more efficient and innovative way.

Microsoft will provide AI technology and applied scientists to work alongside UCB’s scientists and data specialists, aiming to allow UCB to discover new correlations and patterns critical to finding new and highly individualized medicines. The collaboration builds on the work UCB and Microsoft have already embarked on around COVID-19. As part of the COVID Moonshot project, UCB’s medicinal and computational chemists contributed compound designs to this worldwide open-science project to create an orally bioavailable anti-viral for COVID-19 – with the most potent series of compounds coming from UCB designs.


This combination of science, computing power, and AI algorithms aims to significantly accelerate the iteration cycles required to explore a vast chemical space to test many hypotheses and identify more effective molecules. The collaboration plans to extend this model and identify other areas where computing power, AI, and science can accelerate the development of life changing therapies for people living with severe diseases in immunology and neurology. The work will augment UCB’s scientists, subject matter experts and research partners across the drug discovery and delivery value chain by harnessing diverse research information and AI models alongside human expertise and creativity, the companies said in a statement.

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