C4X Discovery has entered into a drug discovery partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) company GTN.

The partnership aims to maximise insights from shape-based chemistry, and generate novel drug candidates in neurodegeneration.

GTN is a new player in the field of drug discovery AI, using deep-learning techniques and quantum physics to simulate, filter and search for molecules that are hidden from traditional technologies.

However, over-simplistic representation of molecules is a key challenge for the application of AI to problems of medicinal chemistry, resulting in suboptimal property prediction and results.

This is where the partnership becomes applicable. C4XD, using its conformational analysis platform Conformetrix - a technology platform that allows the dynamic 3D-shapes of free drug molecules to be precisely measured - will provide GTN with world-leading molecular descriptors for use in its in-silico discovery platform.

By combining both technologies, the collaboration will aim to unlock new areas of chemical space and identify novel small molecules, the firms said.

"This partnership is a great milestone for GTN as we expand the capabilities of our proprietary quantum machine learning platform,” noted Noor Shaker, the firm’s chief executive. “GTN will deploy its platform to discover novel, high quality chemicals and accelerate the discovery process”.

She continued: “GTN's unique approach to quantum representation of molecules and advance machine learning plays very nicely with C4XD's molecular descriptors.”