October 26, 2020

Rosalind: Preclinical validation of therapeutic targets predicted by tensor factorization on heterogeneous graphs

Saee Paliwal, Alex de Giorgio, Daniel Neil, Jean-Baptiste Michel, Alix M.B Lacoste


Incorrect drug target identification is a major obstacle in drug discovery. Only 15% of drugs advance from Phase II to approval, with ineffective targets accounting for over 50% of these failures. Advances in data fusion and computational modeling have independently progressed towards addressing this issue. Here, we capitalize on both these approaches with Rosalind, a comprehensive gene prioritization method that combines heterogeneous knowledge graph construction with relational inference via tensor factorization to accurately predict disease‑gene links. Rosalind demonstrates an increase in performance of 18%‑50% over five comparable state‑of‑the‑art algorithms. On historical data, Rosalind prospectively identifies 1 in 4 therapeutic relationships eventually proven true. Beyond efficacy, Rosalind is able to accurately predict clinical trial successes (75% recall at rank 200) and distinguish likely failures (74% recall at rank 200). Lastly, Rosalind predictions were experimentally tested in a patient‑derived in-vitro assay for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which yielded 5 promising genes, one of which is unexplored in RA.