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 Pharmaceuticals is an emerging biotechnology company based in Salt Lake City. Recursion combines experimental biology and bioinformatics with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to quickly and efficiently identify treatments for any disease which can be modeled at the cellular level. From its initial and continued focus on drug repurposing to treat rare diseases, Recursion has broadened its platform to probe rich data from high-throughput automated screens for a number of indications, including aging, inflammation, infectious disease, oncology, and diagnostics. Recursion’s ultimate vision is to leverage technology to build a robust and reliable map of human cellular biology, which would enable a radical shift in the pace and scale at which new treatments could benefit patients. Learn more at www.recursionpharma.com, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.