Machine learning applied to Drug Discovery

At Saverna Therapeutics we use the latest artificial intelligence tools to discover small molecules targeting RNA

Saverna Therapeutics aims to discover highly active, selective and cell-permeable low molecular weight molecules that target RNA biology

Our discovery platform uses a powerful combination of fragment-based screening by NMR and state of the art artificial intelligence tools. One of our first progressed targets is a pre-miRNA. Its mature miRNA is upregulated in inflammation and cancer. Downregulation of this miRNA affects key proteins in the biology of inflammation and cancer, as has convincingly been shown in mouse models. Selectivity of our small molecules that bind to the pre-miRNA has been shown in a panel of other RNAs. To select the most suitable and selective compounds for screening, we use machine learning and rule induction approaches. The experimentally validated hits are then used to search in large vendor databases of molecules to select predicted cell-permeable molecules for the subsequent screening campaign. Furthermore, we develop biochemical and cellular assays for the relevant disease to test the active hits.

Scientific results about Saverna’s efforts to target RNA presented at international conferences in 2018: XXII Swiss NMR Symposium, Zurich (Oral presentation); XXVIII International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems, Dublin (Poster); 19F NMR Fragment Discovery Workshop, Zurich (Oral presentation); Structural Biology Approaches for Drug Development, Budapest (Oral presentation, 2 posters). In 2019 we presented our progress at Swiss RNA Workshop, Bern (Poster).

If you wish to learn more about Saverna, if you like to join us or engage in a collaboration, don’t hesitate to contact us.