The Innovation Award acknowledges and celebrates ‘Outstanding scientific or technological breakthroughs that have the potential to be transformative in the discovery or development of new medicines’. This Award follows a momentous year for BenevolentAI and is a testament to our COVID-19 research, the unrivalled strength of our Knowledge Graph and AI models, and the early success of our collaboration with AstraZeneca.
Our COVID-19 research began in late January and advanced from hypothesis to FDA approval in nine months. Our team identified baricitinib as a potential treatment for COVID-19 in a time frame that would have been impossible to replicate without our sophisticated biomedical knowledge graph and artificial intelligence. In October, clinical data from the NIAID ACTT-2 trial validated our initial hypothesis, and baricitinib was subsequently given emergency approval by the FDA in November.
This year, our platform also excelled in a collaboration environment: in April 2020, eight months into our partnership with AstraZeneca, we delivered the first output of hypotheses for CKD. Our two teams quickly became one, working closely together to generate a knowledge graph enhanced on CKD and applied AI and ML models to generate a set of targets predicted to be most useful in treating CKD.
The application of artificial intelligence to drug discovery is unrivalled in its complexity, and we are honoured to have our pioneering work in this field recognised at the Scrip Awards. This year demonstrated the power, scalability and adaptability of our AI-augmented end-to-end drug discovery and development approach. Next year, and for years to come, we will continue our mission to unite human and artificial intelligence to translate data into life-changing medicines which help patients live healthier, happier lives.