Home   Business   Article

Subscribe Now

Optibrium’s partnership with Intellegens smells like success





Optibrium’s Augmented Chemistry platform has proved its high predictive reliability in a study demonstrating a reduced need for human testing when developing new flavour and fragrance ingredients.

Optibrium has developed StarDrop (shown here), Augmented Chemistry, Cerella™and Ocura
Optibrium has developed StarDrop (shown here), Augmented Chemistry, Cerella™and Ocura

The Cambridge Innovation Park-based provider of software and artificial intelligence solutions for drug discovery worked with Haverhill-based International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), a global leader in co-creating sensorial experiences, and Intellegens, the AI company based at the Barclays Eagle Lab Incubator on Chesterton Road, for the analysis.

Fragrance ingredient development currently requires human panel-based trials. The process means identifying properties such as odour detection thresholds, which are hard to predict reliably in silico as small changes in a molecule’s structure can substantially impact an individual’s odour perception.

Furthermore, only limited data on attributes such as odour perception are available due to being assessed in trials with human panellists. Such studies are both costly and time-consuming to undertake.

Leveraging Intellegens’ Alchemite deep learning imputation method, Augmented Chemistry’s Cerella software draws on data for the property of interest while also utilising measurements and data from other endpoints and assays to make predictions. This increases the predictive power for critical endpoints – eg the odour perception threshold – by learning the relationships between different experiments and exploiting earlier-stage measurements to make robust predictions of key downstream properties.

Samar Mahmoud, senior scientist at Optibrium. Picture: Onur Pinar
Samar Mahmoud, senior scientist at Optibrium. Picture: Onur Pinar

The study demonstrated translational capabilities that expand the applicability of computational approaches to resource-intensive late-stage discovery, including human trial data and otherwise intractable complex endpoints. The method also provides robust uncertainty estimates for each individual prediction, increasing the confidence in decisions based on the method. Consequently, Augmented Chemistry reduces the time and cost of developing new flavours and fragrances – and it works in related fields like drug discovery.

Samar Mahmoud, senior scientist at Optibrium, said: “We have demonstrated Augmented Chemistry’s unprecedented capabilities to robustly predict otherwise intractable complex endpoints in several drug discovery collaborations with leading pharma and biotech companies. This study further underlines its translational capabilities, providing further evidence for its applicability to other related trial outcomes across fields such as drug discovery.”

Ben Pellegrini, CEO and co-founder of Intellegens. Picture: Keith Heppell
Ben Pellegrini, CEO and co-founder of Intellegens. Picture: Keith Heppell

The peer-reviewed study was published in the Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design titled ‘Imputation of Sensory Properties Using Deep Learning’.

Dmitriy Chekmarev, senior research investigator at IFF, said: “We were impressed by the outcomes of the collaboration. Not just because it is the first approach that offers meaningful overall predictive power, but because its reliable uncertainty estimates give us the confidence to make critical project decisions based on computational methods.”

Ben Pellegrini, CEO at Intellegens, said: “This is another application of Alchemite and really builds on our partnership/integration with Optibrium. That they are now being deployed via Cerella indicates the growing maturity of both Optibirum and Intellegens products. Hopefully there will be many more announcements in months to come.”



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More