Insilico Medicine opens new R&D facility in Abu Dhabi

pharmafile | February 3, 2023 | News story | Research and Development  

Hong Kong-based healthtech company Insilico Medicine recently opened its eighth global laboratory in Abu Dhabi.


Utilising Abu Dhabi’s Masdar complex, Insilico will build on its AI applications in chemistry, biology and pharmaceutical research to discover, develop and test drugs indicated for cancer, cystic fibrosis, anaemia, kidney disease and other conditions. This will be aided by backing from a Prosperity7 Ventures-led Series D funding round, which saw Insilico receive $95m.


January 2023 saw Insilico announce positive results from a phase 1 clinical trial into an AI-designed drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and opened Life Star – a sixth-generation, zero human intervention robotics lab in China.


Insilico Medicine’s chief executive Alex Zhavoronkov stated: “My hope for the region is that it realises it can be a big player in drug discovery. The Middle East has never developed a drug that is being used all over the world. It’s not Switzerland, or the US, or the UK – there is no culture of pharmaceutical drug discovery here. But using AI [artificial intelligence] and robotics, it can leapfrog that cultural and industry gap… Our hope is that [Insilico] is seen as a useful player in the region should governments become serious about drug discovery, and once they start selecting the most impactful companies to work with, they will pick us… Everything we do is to fight death, which means our mission is essentially the opposite of death. If you extend the life of every human being by just one year with a drug, you generate eight billion additional human life years… Abu Dhabi is one of the best places to be. You enjoy individual tax-free status, the time zone is perfect for global communication across our sites in the US, Canada and Greater China, and the government subsidies are substantial so you can pay employees more.”


James Spargo

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