SALT LAKE CITY, UT — May 7, 2018 — Recursion Pharmaceuticals today announced the award of a $546,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to apply Recursion’s AI-enabled technology to the discovery of novel drugs with the ability to treat malaria.
"We are proud to contribute to the foundation's goal of a world free of malaria," said Chris Gibson, Ph.D., CEO of Recursion Pharmaceuticals. "Like the foundation, we believe in the value of all human lives. This grant provides us with an opportunity to explore the utility of our discovery platform in one infectious disease, and our hope is that one day soon we'll be capitalizing on our innovations in automation, biology, and machine learning to discover potential new treatments for many infectious diseases."
Facilitating the discovery of a new treatment for malaria will further advance Recursion’s goal of finding 100 new treatments by 2025.
"This grant is another step in our long, but massively impactful, mission of decoding biology to radically improve lives," continued Gibson.
Recursion has already established a robust pipeline of therapeutic candidates in genetic diseases, including ataxia telangiectasia and cerebral cavernous malformation, among many others. Through technological development in malaria, Recursion plans to enable drug discovery across dozens of infectious disease indications over the next decade.
"Infectious diseases are extremely burdensome. Malaria alone affects hundreds of millions of people every year, and causes almost half a million deaths annually," said Yolanda Chong, Ph.D., Vice President of Biology at Recursion. "A safe treatment that truly eliminates malaria would have an immense impact. That impact will only increase as we pursue treatments for additional infectious diseases. We are honored to undertake this project and are grateful for the opportunity to begin our work in infectious disease on such an important problem."
The project also includes a subaward to accomplished antimalarial drug discovery expert Elizabeth Winzeler, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Drug Discovery in the Department of Pediatrics at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
"This grant is further evidence of the deepening commitment by key parties to eradicate infectious diseases in general and malaria in particular," said Winzeler. "By working together, leveraging our particular strengths and expertise, we can make a powerful and productive combination."
"This is a very exciting collaboration for us," said Chong. "Dr. Winzeler and her team are true experts in this field. Working together, I'm confident that we will make great progress in the fight against infectious disease."
Jessica Yingling, Ph.D.
Little Dog Communications
Recursion is a digital biology company industrializing drug discovery. Recursion does this by combining automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and in vivo validation capabilities with a highly cross-functional team to discover novel medicines and expand our collective understanding of biology. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of 4 petabytes of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action, novel chemistry, and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics that radically improve people’s lives. Recursion is proudly headquartered in Salt Lake City. Learn more at www.recursionpharma.com or connect on www.recursionpharma.com, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.