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Recursion Pharmaceuticals is looking to disrupt the status quo of unnecessarily prolonged, expensive drug development and streamline drug discovery by leveraging technological innovations across biology, chemistry, data engineering, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and automation.
The company plans to do this through its integrated Recursion Operating System (OS), which combines proprietary datasets derived from its in-house wet labs and uses advanced computational tools to efficiently move promising drug candidates through its pipeline.
Equipped with the 58th most powerful supercomputer on the planet, BioHive-1, Recursion algorithms essentially formulate biological “maps” to better predict effective therapies. These algorithms can identify insights and relationships that traditional drug discovery methods are prone to missing due to inefficiencies like human bias.
Recursion OS seeks to reshape the drug development pipeline by:
Recursion OS allows for a continuous cycle of improvement. For example, each success drives effective therapies for suffering patients, while each failure becomes a valuable data point that strengthens the system to produce AI-discovered drug therapies for diseases with unsatisfactory or no treatment options.
Instead of only licensing its tech with other companies, Recursion also has its own internal pipeline of promising therapies.
Of those, therapies for Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM) and Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) have made the most progress and are both currently in phase 2 clinical trials.
CCM is a devastating neurovascular disease that is believed to affect approximately 0.2% of the general population, with 360,000 symptomatic patients in the US and EU5. Patients with CCM are at substantial risk for seizures, strokes, and progressive neurological deficits. Recursion’s REC-994 is an orally available molecule that has shown suitability for chronic dosing of CCM symptoms.
Meningiomas are primary tumors of the meninges, which are the three membrane layers that protect the spinal cord and brain. Approximately half of all NF2 patients are subject to these meningiomas, which cause a variety of neurological-related symptoms like seizures, memory loss, ringing in the ears, and loss of smell. NF2 affects 33,000 people in the US and EU5, with no current treatments available. REC-2282 is an orally bioavailable molecule that has received FDA Fast Track designation to treat NF2-mutated meningiomas.
Aside from these exciting stage 2 clinical therapies, Recursion has one of the broadest pipelines of any technology-enabled pharmaceuticals company, spanning an assortment of rare diseases and cancers. They also partner with various major pharmaceutical companies to tackle broader therapeutic areas like Bayer on fibrotic disease or Roche and Genentech on neuroscience.
Recursion has so far generated revenue through grants and strategic partnership agreements and has primarily financed operations through convertible preferred stock and proceeds from its IPO. At the time of writing, Recursion is seeking to expand strategic partnerships with other major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies beyond the agreements already in place with Roche Genentech, Takeda, and Bayer.
These collaborations can be extremely lucrative if targets are hit. For example, its Roche Genentech partnership already gave Recursion a non-refundable $150 million upfront payment at the beginning of 2022. There’s also the potential to unlock billions more if certain data-sharing and program milestones are achieved.
Although the sale of its own commercialized therapies is not expected to generate revenue for the foreseeable future, Recursion has estimated that the future market potential of the therapies in its pipeline exceeds $1 billion in annual sales.
ML-conducted research and AI-predicted therapies that stem from an advanced database of biological and chemical interactions can generate results beyond what is humanly possible.
Patients will receive therapies faster and more affordably, allowing for major positive implications on human longevity.
Whether it’s tackling rare diseases early to allow for improved and extended life circumstances or being able to rapidly predict effective treatment for a spreading global pandemic to save millions of lives, Recursion may just lead the way to increased longevity through industrialized medicine.