31 May 2023
  • Research, presented by AstraZeneca, provides information on the biological validation of Serum Response Factor as a potential target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
  • The target was discovered using the Benevolent Platform™, BenevolentAI’s AI-enabled drug discovery engine, leveraged in a target identification collaboration between AstraZeneca and BenevolentAI
  • A total of five AI-generated targets have been selected for portfolio-entry in the collaboration to date

London, 31 May 2023, BenevolentAI ​​(Euronext Amsterdam: BAI), a leader that combines cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and science to accelerate biopharma discovery and development, announces that AstraZeneca presented new preclinical data on an AI-generated target identified in their ongoing collaboration with BenevolentAI. The data was presented at the ATS International Conference 2023.

The research provides further scientific information on Serum Response Factor (SRF) as a potential target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). SRF was discovered as a central pro-fibrotic mechanism using the Benevolent Platform™, its flexible and scalable AI-enabled drug discovery engine, despite limited direct evidence linking the target with IPF. Scientists used AI tools within the Benevolent Platform™ to examine the biological rationale underpinning the target prediction and make data-driven decisions.

The target underwent rigorous experimental validation by AstraZeneca using CRISPR screening in primary human lung fibroblasts and validation confirmed using SRF gene silencing (siRNA) or pharmacological SRF pathway inhibition. These data indicate that inhibition of SRF-driven transcription of pro-fibrotic genes in lung fibroblasts might deliver antifibrotic efficacy in IPF. 

About the BenevolentAI collaboration with AstraZeneca
BenevolentAI’s successful multi-year target identification collaboration with AstraZeneca focuses on discovering novel targets using BenevolentAI’s powerful AI-enabled drug discovery engine. The collaboration has so far led to a total of five targets selected for portfolio-entry (three in IPF and two in chronic kidney disease), with the potential for future development milestones and sales-based royalty revenues for BenevolentAI. Based on this success, the collaboration was expanded in January 2022 for a further three years, adding two new disease areas: systemic lupus erythematosus and heart failure.

Poster Details:
Title: P1248 - Unbiased Identification of Serum Response Factor as a Central Profibrotic Mechanism in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Abstract Number: A3954

Rajin Kang 
BenevolentAI, VP Communications  
T: +44(0) 203 781 9360 

About BenevolentAI
BenevolentAI (AMS: BAI) is a leading developer of advanced artificial intelligence technologies that unlock the value of multimodal data, surface novel insights, and accelerate biomedical discovery. Through the combined capabilities of its AI platform, its scientific expertise, and wet-lab facilities, the Company is developing an in-house drug pipeline of high-value assets. The Company is headquartered in London, with a research facility in Cambridge (UK) and a further office in New York.

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