Israeli pharmaceutical AI developer Quris-AI has announced a promising continuation of its partnership with the renowned scientific and technology firm Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Building upon their successful initial collaboration, the companies conducted a preclinical investigation comparing Quris-AI's cutting-edge medication toxicity prediction capabilities with traditional in vitro and in vivo methods.
Merck plans to leverage Quris-AI's expertise in assessing liver toxicity risks in potential medication candidates. Should this prove successful, Merck has the option to secure an exclusive five-year license in the disease domain. While the exact financial details remain undisclosed, estimates suggest a substantial sum, potentially reaching tens of millions.
Serial business owners Isaac Bentwich and Yossi Haran founded Quris, which has made outstanding progress by amassing an impressive $37 million in seed funding by December 2022. Notable investors include SoftBank Vision Fund 2, GlenRock Capital, iAngels, Welltech Ventures, and Richter Group, contributing a substantial $9 million in seed capital.
Danny Bar-Zohar, Global Head of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer for Merck KGaA's Healthcare business sector, expressed enthusiasm about the ongoing collaboration. He emphasized the potential of Quris-AI's BioAI platform to revolutionize drug development and testing programs. Bar-Zohar articulated the goal of working towards an AI-enabled IND (investigational new drug) process, which has the potential to significantly reduce reliance on animal testing, consequently saving both time and resources in drug development.
In a preclinical pilot trial, Quris-AI's technology demonstrated an impressive ability to accurately predict which medications might cause liver harm. The BioAI platform, boasting 29 granted and pending patents, stands as a testament to Quris-AI's commitment to accelerating drug development, reducing associated costs, and eliminating the risks associated with animal testing.
Additionally, Dr. Isaac Bentwich, CEO of Quris-AI, highlighted the transformative power of technology in the realm of medicine development. He stressed that accurately forecasting the safety of innovative medications holds the potential to expedite drug innovation and streamline the path to market while simultaneously mitigating risks and costs. Dr. Bentwich expressed eagerness for the continued collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in advancing pharmaceutical research.
This ongoing partnership between Quris-AI and Merck KGaA represents a significant stride towards more efficient and ethical drug development processes, ultimately benefiting both the industry and patients in need of safe and effective medications.