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Labor Drug Discovery
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Helmholtz Munich and Pfizer Join Forces to Advance Target Discovery and Precision Medicine through Deep Learning

Transfer, Computational Health,

In a new collaboration, the Computational Health Center at Helmholtz Munich has teamed up with the global pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The joint initiative, spanning three years, aims to leverage Pfizer's vast knowledge and accumulated data in conjunction with Helmholtz Munich's expertise in cutting-edge machine learning methodologies.

Helmholtz Munich and Pfizer seek to achieve three primary objectives:

Accelerate Target Discovery

By amalgamating Pfizer's wealth of knowledge and data with Helmholtz Munich's proficiency in novel machine learning methods, the collaboration aims to expedite target discovery. This involves choosing genes and compounds for validation based on predicted molecular traits, discovering new targets, and finding opportunities for combination therapies.

Inform Precision Medicine

Integrating omics data from Pfizer's clinical assets and applying innovative and interpretable deep learning techniques will inform precision medicine. This step will enhance the understanding of individualized patient responses and pave the way for more effective and targeted treatment strategies.

Facilitate Preclinical to Clinical Translation

The collaboration aspires to bridge the gap between preclinical research and clinical applications. The partners want to use advanced machine learning methods to map preclinical and clinical samples in a latent space where samples close to each other share similar characteristics such as gene expression profiles and biological pathways.

“Our department’s vision towards an AI-supported precision medicine is showcased through our innovative deep-learning approaches and ability to harness data-driven insights. We are excited to collaborate with Pfizer to discover new targets and seamlessly translate these insights from preclinical stages to clinical applications.”

Fabian Theis, Head of the Computational Health Center at Helmholtz Munich

Scope and Funding

The collaboration is set to span three years, during which Pfizer will fund a dedicated team at the Helmholtz Munich Computational Health Center. “Helmholtz Munich is at the forefront of computational health research. This investment underscores our commitment to fostering innovation and advancing the frontiers of healthcare through the convergence of pharmaceutical expertise and cutting-edge computational methodologies,” says Jie Quan, Director of Computational Systems Immunology at Pfizer Inc.

Fabian Theis

Prof. Dr. Fabian Theis

Director of the Computational Health Center, Director of the Institute for Computational Biology