Improving healthcare for all

Servier and Oncodesign Precision Medicine launch FederAidd

On December 15, 2022, the Servier group and Oncodesign Precision Medicine (OPM) officialized the creation of FederAidd, a new virtual platform to bring together key players in Drug Discovery (DD) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

10 Feb 2023

By launching FederAidd (Federation for Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery), Servier and OPM are responding to a critical issue − the need to accelerate drug discovery, reduce costs and save time, by using new artificial intelligence technologies. FederAidd is designed to offer a space for experimentation, training, reflection and the exchange of ideas.

The virtual campus aims to bring together academics, pharmaceutical groups and biotechs supporting drug projects, and expert structures in AI technologies to facilitate the discovery and development of therapeutic solutions. The objective is for them to use this platform to exchange ideas and form partnerships, by bringing together technological components around a range of projects. “Working together with the best possible partners will make us stronger,” said Olivier Nosjean, Director of Scientific Affairs at Servier.

“This virtual open innovation campus aims to bring together different players in the healthcare ecosystem from all over the world, such as academic groups, biotechs, startups or pharmaceutical groups, in order to stimulate the discovery of new treatments, and to accelerate therapeutic innovation through artificial intelligence,” Olivier Nosjean, Director of Scientific Affairs at Servier.

The campus was officially created last December and is currently in the launch phase. It is designed to evolve based on the needs of the contributors who join it.  

“We based ourselves on the observation that it was complicated for large or small biotechs, or even pharmaceutical groups, to integrate all the aspects of the new technologies required to discover constantly evolving drug candidates. The drug value creation chain is very long. With FederAidd, they will be able to take advantage of the best Drug Discovery expertise currently available, and thus save both time and money,” said Philippe Genne, Founder & CEO of Oncodesign Precision Medicine.

“The potential of AI in the field of Drug Discovery is immense, as research programs generate data flows that are often the result of multidisciplinary skills, and their overall analysis is complexified by the quality and heterogeneity of the data. FederAidd’s goal is to enable the realization of Drug Discovery projects with the objective of discovering new active drugs in pathologies without therapeutic solutions, in contact with the best experts and the latest developments in AI,” Philippe Genne, Founder & CEO of Oncodesign.

Servier and Oncodesign Precision Medicine, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in precision medicine for the treatment of resistant and metastatic cancers, are at the origin of this initiative that has been two years in the making. InterSystems France is the first member of the campus. As publisher of innovative technologies, the aim of this leading player in healthcare data management is to support organizations in their digital transformation.

“Servier and OPM support this project with the aim of benefiting all its members,” said Alban Arrault, Director of Data Strategy and Artificial Intelligence for Servier R&D. “We are creating this platform because we are convinced that we are fulfilling a critical need. Moreover, the founders shall benefit as much as, but no more than, the other members.” And Philippe Genne added that “if this initiative succeeds, the results will be shared by all Drug Discovery businesses.”

“Developing a drug today is a very lengthy and expensive process, with a very low rate of success. Even if the industries try to manage these constraints as well as they can, it is the patients who are affected and find themselves at the end of the line waiting for any innovative treatments. The biggest impact required of FederAidd is that it must speed up the development of new drugs, so that they can be offered to patients as quickly as possible. AI is only a means to an end,” Stéphane Gerart, Deputy Director of the Scientific Platform of Oncodesign Precision Medicine.

Those who specialize in Drug Discovery, in the same way as those who specialize more specifically in AI, will thus be able to pool their resources, data and knowledge on this virtual campus. “Contributors will be able to work together on current or future projects on the campus or contribute their own projects, by joining forces with experts with complementary skills,” Stéphane Gerart added.

The platform also has an international dimension, as it was launched between Dijon and Paris-Saclay, in France, and Montreal, in Canada. The campus will host members and stakeholders from every corner of the world.

Montreal International (Canada) is moreover involved in the Call for Expression of Interest (CEI) to be launched in March 2023, in concertation with Medicen, the healthcare competitiveness hub of the Île-de-France region, in order to identify new partnerships around innovative projects, in France and internationally, that could benefit from the support of FederAidd. The results of the CEI are expected to be made known in June 2023.

This CEI will be announced at a webinar on March 7, 2023 which will present the operation and the objectives of FederAidd, and the conditions of membership for those who wish to join.

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