Alphabet’s Isomorphic Secures Lucrative Pharma Deals Worth Nearly $3 Billion

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 09 Jan, 2024
2 min read

In a strategic move within Alphabet, Isomorphic, the brainchild of Google DeepMind, has successfully sealed two substantial pharmaceutical agreements with industry giants Eli Lilly and Novartis, collectively valued at nearly $3 billion. This announcement comes just ahead of the highly anticipated J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, hinting at a potential flurry of deals in the biotech landscape.

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Isomorphic’s Evolution and Technological Foundation

Isomorphic, a subsidiary of Alphabet, founded in 2021, operates on the groundbreaking AlphaFold AI technology developed by Google DeepMind. The program’s prowess lies in predicting protein structures, opening avenues for accelerated target discovery and compound development. The recent deals underscore the expanding capabilities of AlphaFold, now extending beyond proteins to encompass small molecules and nucleic acids.

Google DeepMind's Isomorphic strikes deal with Eli Lilly and Novartis

Eli Lilly Collaboration Unveiled

Eli Lilly has committed a substantial upfront payment of $45 million to Isomorphic, marking the initiation of a collaborative effort to uncover small molecule therapies targeting undisclosed diseases. The deal holds the potential for Isomorphic to receive over $1.7 billion in milestone payments, highlighting the confidence in the AI-driven platform’s ability to revolutionize therapeutic discovery.

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Parallel Endeavors with Novartis

Simultaneously, Isomorphic has entered into a comparable agreement with Novartis, securing $37.5 million upfront for the identification of small molecules against three undisclosed targets. The collaboration presents a substantial opportunity, with up to $1.2 billion in performance-based incentives, further emphasizing the pharmaceutical industry’s recognition of Isomorphic’s cutting-edge capabilities.

Isomorphic’s Key Players and Industry Landscape

Founded by Demis Hassabis, who concurrently leads DeepMind, Isomorphic boasts a scientific advisory board featuring four Nobel Prize winners. The inclusion of experts such as Jennifer Doudna and Sir Paul Nurse reflects the company’s commitment to advancing AI-driven drug discovery. The company’s Chief Scientific Officer, Miles Congreve, and Chief Technology Officer, Sergei Yankeen, bring a wealth of experience from leading pharmaceutical and genetics organizations.

Also Read: China Releases Strong Guidelines for Use of AI in Research

Alphabet's Isomorphic strikes pharma deal worth $3 billion

Anticipation and Industry Dynamics

The announcement of these pivotal collaborations aligns with a palpable shift in industry sentiment, transitioning from tepid to optimistic. As witnessed in a flurry of mergers and acquisitions in December 2023 and positive economic indicators in the U.S., the biotech sector seems poised for a period of innovation and growth.

Our Say

Isomorphic’s recent deals with Eli Lilly and Novartis mark a significant stride in the realm of AI-driven drug discovery. The partnerships underscore the growing confidence in AlphaFold’s capabilities and Isomorphic’s potential to reshape therapeutic development. As industry dynamics continue to evolve, Isomorphic’s collaborations may pave the way for transformative breakthroughs in pharmaceutical research.

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