XtalPi has entered into a strategic collaboration with CK Life Sciences, a member of the CK Hutchison Group. The goal is to jointly develop a novel artificial intelligence (AI) tumor vaccine R&D platform. This will improve the discovery and design capabilities of tumor vaccines and accelerate development of more vaccine types.
According to public information, there were nearly 20 million newly diagnosed cancer patients worldwide in 2021, of which about 4.5 million cases came from China. Many cancer types lead to detrimental outcomes, with high morbidity and mortality, and there remains a large unmet clinical need.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the global cancer vaccine market size was $6.79 billion in 2021 and will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 11.53% from 2022 to 2026. The expected market size by 2026 will be approximately $12 billion.
Tumor vaccines targeting different tumor neoantigens, tumor-associated antigens (TAA) and tumor-specific antigens (TSA) in patients can be designed for use as immunotherapy, to activate the patient’s own specific immune responses.
Currently, there are only two therapeutic tumor vaccines— sipuleucel-T for melanoma and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) for bladder cancer, as well as preventive tumor vaccines against human papillomavirus infection and hepatitis B infection approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Recently, several other tumor vaccines have entered clinical development and evidence of efficacy has begun to emerge.
Building R&D platform
Currently, the design and preclinical development process for tumor vaccines is complex and lengthy, hindering the efficiency and success rate of tumor vaccine research and development.
Incorporating XtalPi’s industry experience in AI computation and robotic automation, this collaboration aims to build an AI tumor vaccine R&D platform that applies advanced AI algorithms and high-precision molecular modeling to predict and design a variety of tumor vaccines that can activate specific immune responses to kill tumors.
The tumor vaccines will be screened and verified through automated experiments, and through integrating algorithmic feedback to optimize activity and efficacy, the platform is expected to generate preclinical tumor vaccine candidate compounds with robust immune activity.
Improving success rate
Shuhao Wen, co-founder and chairman of XtalPi, said: “As a company headquartered in the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone, XtalPi is committed to realizing the synergies between Shenzhen and Hong Kong by creating a new paradigm for innovation in the Greater Bay Area. Empowered by the latest technological advancements in automation, artificial intelligence is accelerating more innovative and diverse areas in drug research and development.
“Together with CK Life Sciences, we are committed to overcome conventional limitations and discover diverse applications for cutting-edge technologies. We believe the AI cancer vaccine platform jointly developed by CK Life Sciences and XtalPi will inspire the global scientific community to progress vaccine research and development and fast-track key development milestones for cancer vaccines. We are confident that this collaboration will significantly facilitate the scientific research exchange in the Greater Bay Area.”
Melvin Toh, vice president and chief scientific officer at CK Life Sciences, added: “The R&D of tumor vaccines is one of the key development directions of CK Life Sciences. The cooperation with XtalPi will apply XtalPi’s AI algorithm, molecular modeling and automated experiments to speed up the R&D process, improve the success rate, and increase the efficacy of tumor vaccines.”