Apr 6

Partnering with Charles River to Democratize AI-Enabled Drug Design

3 min read
Daniel Cohen, CEO

Partnering with Charles River to democratize access to AI-enabled drug design

Today, we’re thrilled to announce a strategic partnership with Charles River, one of the most trusted names in biopharma, allowing every Charles River client to become AI-enabled regardless of in-house AI capabilities.

Press releases only tell part of the story, so we wanted to share more about how this partnership is key to advancing our mission of empowering drug discovery scientists with the latest advances in AI-enabled drug design.

AI-enabled drug design remains nascent

Despite the headlines and hype, we’re still in the earliest days of AI-enabled drug design, and only a tiny fraction of drug discovery companies today are AI-enabled. There are a few reasons for this. 

  • Building from scratch requires in-house talent that’s hard to come by, including a dedicated team cross-trained in machine learning and the life sciences, and an army of engineering support

  • Off-the-shelf solutions are rarely well-adapted to drug discovery, and patchwork tools borrowed from other domains tend to yield disappointing results

  • The space is evolving extremely fast, and it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of the latest advances if you’re not actively contributing to the development of new methodologies in the research community

Valence solves these challenges by taking fit-for-purpose deep learning technologies developed at Mila, the world’s largest deep learning research institute, and combining them with intuitive enabling infrastructure to make these technologies more broadly accessible. This allows any R&D organization to deploy best-in-class deep learning technologies for drug design without having to build any capabilities internally. 

Why partner with Charles River? 

Charles River is one of the world’s largest and most trusted Contract Research Organizations (CROs). CROs like Charles River play an important role in today’s drug discovery landscape, providing plug-and-play research services to biotech and pharma companies, allowing them to outsource key parts of their discovery stack rather than building bespoke infrastructure internally.

In the same way that modern technology companies are being built on infrastructure like AWS, CROs like Charles River are providing platforms that significantly reduce the barriers to starting a biotech company, while also providing excess capacity that can be scaled at will. 

Our partnership with Charles River provides Valence with unparalleled reach across the global drug discovery ecosystem, helping us bring AI-enabled drug design to many more discovery programs than previously possible. 

Together, we’re accelerating adoption of AI-enabled drug design

Through our partnership, Charles River clients will have the option to access our platform for generative chemistry and multiparameter optimization, democratizing access to technologies that would otherwise remain opaque and inaccessible.

This partnership is an important step in providing every drug discovery scientist the opportunity to become AI-enabled, and we look forward to working with Charles River over the years to come. 

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Daniel Cohen, CEO

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