Biogen to collaborate with Envisagenics on RNA splicing research

pharmafile | May 14, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications AI 

Biogen and Envisagenics have announced a new collaboration to advance ribonucleic acid (RNA) splicing research within central nervous system (CNS) diseases.

Envisagenics’ proprietary artificial intelligence (AI)-driven RNA splicing platform, SpliceCore, will be used as part of the collaboration to define and understand the regulation of different RNA isoforms in CNS cell types.

Alfred Sandrock, PhD, head of Research and Development at Biogen, said: “By combining Envisagenics’ SpliceCore platform with our deep expertise in this scientific approach, we believe that Biogen will be able to advance our understanding of RNA splicing and potentially identify new drug targets for CNS diseases.”

Genetic information encoded in the human chromosome is converted into RNA molecules which is then used as the template to make proteins. RNA splicing is the process that trims out extra information embedded in the intermediate RNA molecules, and this trimmed RNA is what is then used to produce functional proteins.

The process of detecting, cataloguing and interpreting RNA splicing errors has been slow and costly. The use of machine learning algorithms and high-performance computing, allows researchers to identify, test and validate splicing errors at scale.

Through this collaboration, Biogen will gain access to SpliceCore’s database of approximately seven million potential RNA splicing errors, the largest database of splicing errors in the world. This will provide Biogen with a broader lens to evaluate splicing events that may be targeted for therapeutic gain.

Maria Luisa Pineda, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Envisagenics, said: “Envisagenics is thrilled to work with Biogen because we share a commitment to identifying potential treatments for CNS diseases through innovative AI technology like the SpliceCore platform.

“Envisagenics and Biogen recognize the power of RNA splicing to aid in the discovery of potential therapeutics.”

Kat Jenkins

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