A company focused on discovering drugs using artificial intelligence and machine learning is moving one of its technology-discovered compounds into the clinic later this year.
Salt Lake City-based Recursion said Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration had approved its Investigative New Drug application to start a Phase I study of REC-994 in cerebral cavernous malformation, a genetic disease that affects up to 1.5 million people in the United States.
Chris Gibson, the company’s CEO and co-founder, said in a phone interview that the clinical trial would likely start in the third or fourth quarter of this year. At the same time, he clarified that while it would be accurate to say REC-994 – a superoxide dismutase mimetic – was discovered using machine learning, its discovery was not based on artificial intelligence. The difference between AI and ML is subtle and even itself the subject of debate among experts, he said, and AI itself is a form of ML. However, the discovery platform used to discover REC-994 did not include iterative feedback in which algorithms learn and get better and better over time, meaning it was not truly AI, though the company’s current discovery platform is AI-based.