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Artificial Intelligence Company Elemental Cognition To Accelerate Cancer Drug Development In Partnership With Penn Brain Tumor Center

An exciting new partnership will integrate next-generation artificial intelligence into the research process in hopes of dramatically accelerating the development of cancer treatments.

Elemental Cognition (EC) launched a sponsored research partnership with the Penn Brain Tumor Center to accelerate therapeutic drug development with the aim of embedding EC’s Collaborative Research Assistant (CORA) into the preclinical research pipeline.

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CORA is built to accelerate research by getting fast, unbiased, and logical answers to complex research questions. CORA accomplishes this by supporting the researcher in aggregating information across various data sources by performing a semantic search over concepts and relations that are automatically induced from the data, codifying expert knowledge, creating repeatable research templates, reasoning over the data to surface novel insights, surfacing evidence to support or refute any findings, and then automatically summarizing the findings logically with the evidence and references.

Nduka M. Amankulor, director of the Penn Brain Tumor Center and Chief of Neurosurgical Oncology at Penn Medicine, and his research team previously conducted eight years of highly iterative genomic research to identify novel immune adjuvants for the treatment of IDH mutated brain cancer. This work revealed that the time to discover and develop IDH-mutant immune adjuvants based on their original gene expression datasets could be shortened. Thus, his group became interested in identifying novel AI-integrated mechanisms to support their research efforts.

EC hopes that CORA will help Amankulor and his team identify therapeutic strategies not easily identified by the current plethora of data integration tools available to researchers. Their research will focus on improving approaches to identify therapeutic nodes using proprietary datasets generated by Amankulor’s lab in conjunction with existing public domain research data, ideally shortening the period between discovery and potential development of therapeutics.

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“We believe that AI’s true potential is realized only if it can be understood and trusted. We are thrilled to support Dr. Amankulor and the world-class research team at the Penn Brain Tumor Center,” said Dr. David Ferrucci, Founder and CEO of Elemental Cognition. “We are eager to see if our technology can make a significant impact on the rate at which biomedical research is done.”

CORA will assist researchers with:

  • Testing previous research on IDH mutated brain cancer to confirm that the AI-powered knowledge exploration can quickly identify answers by using simple, natural-language research queries. This will provide knowledge pathways that should replicate the original hypotheses in a fraction of the time originally required to generate them.
  • Creating templates for the research process by codifying expert knowledge, reducing the amount of time it takes to conduct new research to quantify the benefits of EC’s AI platform
  • Testing and validating EC’s AI platform using experts and non-experts on newly generated research hypotheses

“There is a massive need to shorten the time to discovery in biomedical research,” said Dr. Amankulor. “We are often inundated with novel large discovery datasets, and the decision to pursue a particular discovery path is more intuitive than it is objective. We’ve got to accelerate the way we do biomedical research.”

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