Science

“Medicine of the Future”. Aion Labs, based in Rehovot, has been awarded the Zichron Yaakov Award.

ISRAELVALLEY LIVE FROM HOTEL ALMA IN ZIKHRON YAAKOV (1). FRENCH-ISRAEL CONFERENCE Israeli Chief Scientist Dr. Ami Appelbaum has just introduced Aion Labs.

Aion Labs, based in Israel, specializes in the use of AI in the pharmaceutical industry. Founded in 2021, it is currently accepting applications from computational biologists, bioinformatics, artificial intelligence researchers, and other scientists for its third challenge, which should lead to a new AI-focused platform designed to aid pharmaceutical research. .

The lab works with major pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Israel Biotech Fund and Teva Pharmaceuticals, as well as technology company Amazon Web Services.

“Merck and other partners are very interested in new biological entities, namely in a large number of constructs based on the design of antibodies,” Noga Yerushalmi, chief investment officer of Merck’s M Ventures, told MobiHealthNews.

“And until today, in order to produce an antibody, in order for it to become a therapeutic drug, it was necessary to go through certain stages, which were biological. (…) The first series of proposals from Aion Labs actually created the necessary ecosystem to offer solutions for doing this whole process in a completely computational way, that is, from a structure.

“This 3D structure of your target could allow you to design a molecule on a computer, then synthesize it, try it and see if it works. But the ability to do this comes with a lot of data from previous structure analyzes and previous antibody designs that have been made, and we can provide this company with a lot of data, as well as improvements in some of the calculation tools that now allow you to model almost any protein on computer. »

The program takes the finalists to a five-day training camp in Rehovot, Israel and pairs them up with teammates. The winning team of scientists is mentored by pharmaceutical, technology and venture capital firms for a fully funded incubation period of up to four years.

Aion Labs is based in Israel and funded by the Israeli government. Benita says Israel is a great place to innovate for several key reasons.

“The entrepreneurial spirit is very present there. But I think it also has to do with the fact that Israel is relatively small and very interconnected. Noga, for example, knew all of his colleagues at Pfizer, AZ, and the US Teva before founding Aion Labs, so people know each other.

“He is very digitized. And you could also see, thanks to COVID, vaccine deployment, data analysis, data collection, Israel has moved forward. This is because everything is really well connected and this gives a very strong added value. »

(1) On the basis of two very successful editions in 2016 and 2018, the “Meeting in Galilee” association, in accordance with the law of 1901, organizes today, following the model of Aix-en-Provence, the third edition of the medico-economic forum. . At the scientific level, the medical and economic forum will be held on July 24, 2022.

The mission of Encounters in the Galilee is to develop meetings and long-term partnerships/collaborations between French and Israeli scientists and between French and Israeli companies.

AION Labs was founded in Rehovot, Israel in 2021 as an alliance of global pharmaceutical and technology leaders and investors to create and develop innovative startups that will pave the way for drug discovery and development in the future. The alliance is supported by the Israel Innovation Authority with the aim of creating a world-class innovation ecosystem in Israel, attracting the world’s best biotechnology talent and investment from the world’s major pharmaceutical companies and venture capital.

AION Labs’ new venture creation process is based on the successful innovation model of the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, which serves as the alliance’s strategic partner. The annual process always begins with the identification and selection of major AI challenges among AION Labs’ four global pharma partners, identifying the best researchers and entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle the challenges using the BioMed X global crowdsourcing platform, and selecting the best of the best talent and ideas at a local bootcamp on innovation in Israel. The winner of each boot camp moves with their family to Israel, receives an initial investment of $2 million for up to four years to build their new AI company, mentorship and training data from sponsoring partners, and full access to facilities AION Labs and LAN.

AION Labs, a fully equipped collaboration space for computing and wet labs, is located on the top floor of Rehovot’s tallest building with stunning views of the neighboring Weizmann Institute.

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