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UCB S.A.. (3/15/23). "Press Release: Aitia and UCB Announce Strategic Drug Discovery Collaboration in Huntington's Disease". Brussels & Somerville, MA.

Organisations Organisation UCB S.A. (Euronext: UCB)
  Group UCB (Group)
  Organisation 2 Aitia (GNS Healthcare) (Group)
Products Product AI-based drug discovery / AI-based drug development
  Product 2 Gemini Digital Twins
Persons Person Hill, Colin (Aitia 202303 CEO + Co-Founder formerly Gene Network 200708 CEO)
  Person 2 Patel, Dhavalkumar (Dhaval) (UCB 201802 CSO)
     


UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company, and Aitia, a leader in the application of Causal AI and “Digital Twins” to discover and develop new drugs, today announced an early drug discovery collaboration focused on the discovery and validation of novel drug targets and drug candidates for Huntingdon’s disease. The collaboration seeks to validate novel drug targets that are causally linked to clinical endpoints in Huntington's disease.

Huntington's disease is a debilitating genetic disorder that affects the brain, causing gradual degeneration of nerve cells in specific areas of the brain, which can lead to problems with movement, behavior, and cognitive abilities1,2. It is estimated that Huntington’s disease affects approximately 1 in 10,000 people worldwide and currently there is no cure for the disease and treatment options are limited1,3.

Colin Hill, CEO and co-founder of Aitia, commented, "At Aitia, our mission is to discover the next generation of breakthrough drugs to improve outcomes for patients where there is high unmet need. We believe that Huntington’s disease is overdue for major disruption and breakthroughs from our Gemini Digital Twins which are created from large quantities of multi-omic patient data and causal AI. We’re excited to collaborate closely with UCB to gain deeper insights into the underlying mechanisms of this complex disease and hope to drive major advancements in drug discovery and development faster than ever before.”

This strategic collaboration will combine the use of novel Huntington’s disease drug targets from Aitia’s Gemini Digital Twins with UCB’s expertise in drug research and preclinical model systems in neurodegeneration with the aim to accelerate the discovery of new therapies for people living with Huntington's disease.

“We are pleased to work with Aitia in a bid to unravel the circuity of this debilitating disease" said Dhaval Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at UCB. “We see this collaboration as an investment in next generation science and technology, allowing us to accelerate our understanding of human pathobiology and explore the potential of developing novel medicines through AI.”

Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.


References

1. Huntington’s Disease Association ‘Our vision Our mission’. (n.d.). Available at: https://www.hda.org.uk/media/3014/impact-report-2019-final-3.pdf. Last accessed February 2023.

2. www.neurocntr.com. (n.d.). Huntington Disease Overview, Incidence and Prevalence - NEUROCNTR. [online] Available at: http://www.neurocntr.com/huntingtons-disease.php. Last accessed February 2023.

3. health.ucdavis.edu. (n.d.). About Huntington’s Disease - UC Davis Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence. [online] Available at: https://health.ucdavis.edu/huntingtons/about.html. Last accessed February 2023.


For media enquiries contact

Antje Witte Investor Relations (UCB), +32.2.559.94.14 or email antje.witte@ucb.com
Laurent Schots, Corporate Communications (UCB), +32.2.559.92.64 or email laurent.schots@ucb.com
Scott Fleming, R&D Communications (UCB), +447702777378 or email scott.fleming@ucb.com
Zena Sfeir, Vice President of Marketing (Aitia), +1.617.374.2300 or email zsfeir@aitiabio.com


About UCB

UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With approximately 8 700 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of € 5.5 billion in 2022. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).


About Aitia

Aitia is a leader in the application of Causal AI and Digital Twins to discover the next generation of breakthrough drugs. By leveraging the convergence of multi-omic patient data, high-performance computing, and causal learning and AI, Aitia is revealing the hidden biological mechanisms of disease to create Digital Twins of disease in oncology, neurodegenerative disorders, and immunology. Gemini Digital Twins are being used today to discover novel therapies and accelerate R&D in multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Huntington’s Disease, with several more in development. Aitia’s partners include seven of the top ten pharmaceutical companies, leading academic research and medical centers, medical societies, leading multi-omic data companies, and patient advocacy groups globally.


Forward looking statements - UCB

This press release may contain forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements containing the words “believes”, “anticipates”, “expects”, “intends”, “plans”, “seeks”, “estimates”, “may”, “will”, “continue” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial information, expected legal, arbitration, political, regulatory or clinical results or practices and other such estimates and results. By their nature, such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions which might cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of UCB, or industry results, to differ materially from those that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: the global spread and impact of COVID-19, changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals or to obtain them on acceptable terms or within expected timing, costs associated with research and development, changes in the prospects for products in the pipeline or under development by UCB, effects of future judicial decisions or governmental investigations, safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, product liability claims, challenges to patent protection for products or product candidates, competition from other products including biosimilars, changes in laws or regulations, exchange rate fluctuations, changes or uncertainties in tax laws or the administration of such laws, and hiring and retention of its employees. There is no guarantee that new product candidates will be discovered or identified in the pipeline, will progress to product approval or that new indications for existing products will be developed and approved. Movement from concept to commercial product is uncertain; preclinical results do not guarantee safety and efficacy of product candidates in humans. So far, the complexity of the human body cannot be reproduced in computer models, cell culture systems or animal models. The length of the timing to complete clinical trials and to get regulatory approval for product marketing has varied in the past and UCB expects similar unpredictability going forward. Products or potential products, which are the subject of partnerships, joint ventures or licensing collaborations may be subject to differences disputes between the partners or may prove to be not as safe, effective or commercially successful as UCB may have believed at the start of such partnership. UCB’s efforts to acquire other products or companies and to integrate the operations of such acquired companies may not be as successful as UCB may have believed at the moment of acquisition. Also, UCB or others could discover safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with its products and/or devices after they are marketed. The discovery of significant problems with a product similar to one of UCB’s products that implicate an entire class of products may have a material adverse effect on sales of the entire class of affected products. Moreover, sales may be impacted by international and domestic trends toward managed care and health care cost containment, including pricing pressure, political and public scrutiny, customer and prescriber patterns or practices, and the reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payers as well as legislation affecting biopharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement activities and outcomes. Finally, a breakdown, cyberattack or information security breach could compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of UCB’s data and systems.

Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on any of such forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labelling in any market, or at any particular time, nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be or will continue to be commercially successful in the future.

UCB is providing this information, including forward-looking statements, only as of the date of this press release and it does not reflect any potential impact from the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, unless indicated otherwise. UCB is following the worldwide developments diligently to assess the financial significance of this pandemic to UCB. UCB expressly disclaims any duty to update any information contained in this press release, either to confirm the actual results or to report or reflect any change in its forward-looking statements with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based, unless such statement is required pursuant to applicable laws and regulations.

Additionally, information contained in this document shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.

   
Record changed: 2024-01-20

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