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Published on : Nov 01, 2017

Machine learning technologies have already made huge strides in supporting the efforts of pharmaceutical companies in developing personalized medicines and novel biomarkers. This has been found to be helpful, notably for understanding the efficacy of prophylactic vaccines used for combating infectious diseases. A recent partnership hopes to tap the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to discover biomarkers, with an aim to understand individual influenza vaccine responses. Sanofi S.A., a French multinational pharmaceutical company, enters into a collaboration with Berg, a U.S. biotechnology group, which will allow it to use the latter’s analytics platform for better understanding vaccine immunological responses for various patient populations.

Under the partnership pact, the French drug maker will share biological materials, along with a vast set of data records, of individuals participating in the study. Partaking a large longitudinal study on its flu vaccines, Sanofi will tap into Berg’s artificial intelligence tool bAIcis to identify biomarkers to understand the differing responses of the flu vaccines for a wide spectrum of populations, races, and geographies.

Biomarkers Helpful in Developing Next-Generation of Influenza Vaccines

World over, several pharmaceutical players are exploring the potential AI for identifying new drug targets and to expedite the approval of therapies. The project, considered first-of-its kind, according to Berg, is helpful for innovative approaches in combating infectious diseases, which will prove useful in developing next-generation of influenza vaccines. Equipped with its Interrogative Biology platform, Berg has already tapped into the potential of AI technology for developing personalized therapies in oncology.

According to an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a leading public health institute of the U.S., flu vaccines were effective only in 48% of cases recorded during 2016–2017. A knowledge of molecular signatures and biomarkers helps in the discovery of personalized and potentially effective vaccines for flu.