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AION Labs Launches AI Startup Addressing Drug Trial Improvement

AION Labs, the first-of-its-kind innovation lab spearheading the adoption of AI technologies and computational science to solve therapeutic challenges, announced the formation of OMEC.AI, the lab’s first startup approved by the Israel Innovation Authority. The new company will develop AI-powered solutions to analyze pre-clinical data and identify gaps in efficacy and safety to improve the probability of success of drug candidates in clinical trials.

OMEC.AI aims to build a next-generation computational platform that can both identify hidden safety liabilities and lack of efficacy for drug candidates, and suggest experiments to close the identified gaps. In addition to funding, support and mentorship, AION Labs and its pharma partners will provide OMEC.AI with pharmaceutical data for model training and advanced machine learning development.

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OMEC.AI will be led by AI experts Ori Shachar and Amir Harel, both veterans of Mobileye, the leading Israeli technology company for autonomous driving technologies that was bought by Intel in 2017 for $15.3B. They bring with them a wealth of expertise in building advanced data systems at scale using deep AI technologies.

“There is currently no automated solution that employs all preclinical data in a way that allows a reliable assessment of the clinical trial readiness of a drug candidate. We are aiming to fill this gap,” said Ori Shachar, co-founder and CEO of OMEC.AI. “With the support of AION Labs and its partners, we hope to develop a cutting-edge solution to significantly improve the probability of success of drug candidates that make it to the clinical trial phase.”

Most drug candidates fail in clinical trials because of unexpected safety issues or lack of efficacy in human subjects. Omics[1] technologies have improved dramatically in recent years allowing for extensive tissue and single cell profiling over time. These technologies are routinely applied in large scale preclinical in-vitro and in-vivo studies. However, these multi-omics datasets are heterogenous and unreliable in predicting human biology. OMEC.AI aims to create an automated solution that employs all preclinical data in a way that allows a reliable assessment of the clinical trial readiness of a drug candidate.

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OMEC.AI is the first startup to be formed by AION Labs, which creates early-stage startup teams that harness the power of artificial intelligence to transform the process of drug discovery and development for the betterment of human health. The new company has been created through the investment of leading pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Merck, and with close support from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and additional financial backing from the Israel Innovation Authority.

Founded and launched in late 2021, AION Labs forms its startups through a unique innovation model powered by BioMed X, identifying great industry R&D challenges and carrying out a global talent search for scientist founders. It then invites selected groups of scientists and computational biologists to collaborate to solve the specific research and design challenge, before selecting a founding team and setting them up for success.

“The formation of OMEC.AI is a significant milestone in our journey towards improving drug discovery and patient care through innovation,” said Mati Gill, CEO of AION Labs. “We are delighted to welcome OMEC.AI to the AION Labs family and to work together to revolutionize the way drugs are developed.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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