Rakovina Therapeutics is expanding research collaborations with Canada-based Pharma Inventor, and the University of British Columbia (UBC) to expand research with the Deep Docking AI drug discovery platform. 

Rakovina has extended and expanded its collaborative research agreement with the UBC. It will utilise its lead optimisation infrastructure at the university’s Vancouver Prostate Center to validate new candidates identified by the Deep Docking AI platform. 

Additionally, Pharma Inventor has agreed to provide medicinal chemistry support to synthesise novel lead drug candidates identified by the Deep Docking AI platform, for further validation Rakovina. Rakovina will own all rights to novel molecules developed through the collaboration. 

Deep Docking AI leverages deep learning platforms to analyse the structural relationships between molecules. By training on a subset of an extensive database, it extrapolates to predict how well other compounds will interact. The platform makes the drug discovery process approximately 50 times faster, according to research published in the ACS Central Science journal. 

In March 2024, Rakovina entered a collaboration agreement with Artem Cherkasov, a professor at the UBC. The agreement allowed Rakovina exclusive access to the Deep Docking AI Platform for DNA damage response targets. Cherkasov was appointed to the company’s scientific advisory board in November 2023. 

Rakovina plans to screen six to eight billion compounds in the next three to four months for its initial DNA damage response target. The company will then synthesise a shortlist of the most promising drug candidates for testing in its lab.  

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Founded in 2021, Canada-based Rakovina focuses on the development of new cancer treatments based on DNA-damage response technologies. According to the company, it has established a pipeline of novel DNA-damage response inhibitors to advance one or more drug candidates into human clinical trials. 

In the announcement accompanying the collaborations, Rakovina’s executive chairman Jeffrey Bacha said: “These partnerships allow us to capitalise on the Deep Docking AI platform while maintaining high standards of research. 

“The most promising lead candidates will be validated using the Company’s established R&D infrastructure and advanced to human clinical trials and pharmaceutical partnerships.”