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Decoding biology with AI for better and faster remedy

Recursion Pharmaceuticals combines biology, chemistry, and technology for faster drug discovery. Their AI-powered approach identifies potential drugs by weakening healthy cells and observing changes.

  • Recursion Pharmaceuticals combines biology, chemistry, and technology for faster drug discovery.
  • Their AI-powered approach identifies potential drugs by weakening healthy cells and observing changes.
  • Their systematic pipeline includes a vast data universe, a map for insights, and collaborations with pharma giants. Recursion fights fibrotic diseases and rare conditions like Cerebral Cavernous Malformation.

Have you ever considered how certain illnesses resemble those unforeseen party crashers? COVID-19 pulled that one, and researchers entered saver mode. However many other diseases are still playing hide and seek. They resemble those challenging puzzles that we have yet to solve. 

Nowadays, with the increase in the use of AI in most fields, they are doing miracles. AI is like the superhero that all the areas need. It's like the Incredibles in the incredible movie. So shouldn't there be a superhero for the medical field, too?

It takes years of effort and research for miracles to happen. Recursion Pharmaceuticals is the miracle we all needed. It is a biotech company started by Chris Gibson, Blake Borgeson, and Dean Li in 2013, with headquarters in Lake City, Utah. Chris Gibson developed the technology and thought of Recursion as a part of his MD/Ph.D. work in the lab of Dr. Dean Li. 

What makes the AI-drug discovering company Recursion Pharmaceuticals stand out? 

Erooms Law, to note it in simpler terms, this law says that the drug discovery process has become even slower and more expensive, despite such technological advancements. 

There are approximately 6000 rare diseases affecting an estimated 25 million people. The scarier part of the story is that the drug development process is so slow because less than 5% of rare diseases have an FDA-approved treatment (drugs that are safe for distribution).

Recursion has overcome the paradox by combining biology, chemistry, and technology in such a way that it brings effective and non-expensive solutions to rare and common diseases faster than before.

Gibson says, ‘They focus on building a full stack of drug discovery and development.’ 

They have worked with scientists and software engineers to keep the entire pipeline in-house, from generating databases to doing clinical experiments. Chris Gibson describes the ‘laboratory as a warehouse filled with tiny Petri dishes and robots, conducting one million weekly experiments.’ 

How did it begin?

It began as a business that modified already available medications to treat rare disorders. However, it has evolved into one of its own "biotech" businesses over time, which operates in the other direction. Drugs are typically tested on sick cells in labs to restore their health, whereas recursion flips it. Recursion works on making healthy cells weak and discovering a successful drug for that.

Recursion is the superhero with the superpower of an all-safe set of drugs for the cells in our body for rare and common diseases.

It's been a decade since Recursion Pharmaceuticals has been growing with its mission statement, "Decoding biology to improve lives radically.” They realize how their work affects the lives of their patients and their loved ones. 

What is their agenda?

The central part of their mission is the Recursion Operating System, also known as Recursion OS. It's like a super tool that blends biology and chemistry data to make drugs smarter and faster!

  • The Infrastructure Layer, Recursion OS's base, stores over 21 petabytes of data. Consider the infrastructure layer as a toolbox filled with different tools, such as screens full of folders, biological devices, and cell blueprints, all working together to create a scientific miracle!
  • The Recursion Data Universe is a collection of high-dimensional biological and chemical datasets spanning different scales. 
  • The Recursion Map is a rapid navigator while translating the data from the Recursion Data Universe into actionable insights for the research team to fasten the process. 

Because of such a systematic organization, the Recursion pipeline has considerable growth. Pipeline in the pharmacy field refers to the process from which any product progresses from the idea or conceptual stage to the final finished product stage. 

Goals and Partnerships

Recursion is on a continuous drug hunt. To fight fibrotic diseases, those conditions that affect our lungs, hearts, kidneys, and liver, they have teamed up with Bayer. They've partnered with significant businesses like Takeda and Sanofi, sparking the pharmaceutical sector!

Have you ever considered the many diseases hidden in the dark? Recursion is a hero as it currently battles four experimental medications on humans in the lab. Consider the genetic disease Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM), which affects 0.5% of the population. Phase 2 is the next step in Recursion's mission to defeat these stealthy dangers that can cause fatalities.

What Recursion Pharmaceuticals does is to be saluted. Many rare diseases are affecting the masses, and many times a large population of young children gets affected. People lose their lives because of delayed or lack of proper treatment, despite such advancements in the technological and medical fields. 

With the merger of the two fields, biotech, Recursion Pharmaceuticals is going to be the miracle for people with those rare diseases that hadn't been cured earlier.

Edited by Shruti Thapa