BGU Develops AI to Advance Clinical Trials
October 23, 2020
The Jerusalem Post — BGU researchers have created a platform to streamline clinical trials, hosting them at lower costs while increasing the efficiency and success rate within the developmental process of the drug or device.
BGU licensed the technology to Panacea for further development. Panacea is a company founded by BGN Technologies, which is BGU’s technology incubator, and part of the University’s Oazis accelerator program, aimed at promoting new academic technologies.
The technology uses artificial intelligence with machine learning capabilities to optimize the chances of a trial’s success before its beginning. The tech can also formulate optimal participant samples, analyzing different challenges such as dropout rate and recruitment, among others to create a perfect sample.
The technology also gives pre-trial recommendations, interim analyses and post-trial insights, so as to prepare for the next trial. All could be used to help salvage future trials in the case of a failed one.
“Clinical trials haven’t fundamentally changed in the past two decades,” said Prof. Boaz Lerner of the BGU Department of Industrial Engineering and Management.
“They are extremely costly, and the probability of success for new drugs is in the single digits. Therefore, our platform is highly beneficial for pharma and biotech companies, enabling them to increase efficiency and the chances of success by streamlining the trial and selecting the optimal participants and markers. Conversely, we can also help in understanding when to terminate a trial and what lessons can be derived from a failed trial.”
The tech is currently being used in a study surrounding neurodegenerative diseases, focusing on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s as well as Alzheimer’s.
So far, the technology has been successful in putting participants into homogeneous, statistically distinct, sub-groups – analyzing important factors such as disease state as well as predictions surrounding progression rate and severity.
“In the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it seems only natural that drug development should benefit from these sophisticated tools that can take into account large amounts of data, and integrate and analyze numerous parameters in order to optimize clinical trials and increase their probability of success,” says Josh Peleg, chief executive officer of BGN Technologies.
“We are happy to see that the technology has already received interest from several biopharma companies who have begun collaborating with Panacea on improving their ongoing clinical studies.”