Artificial Intelligence deal with OneThree Biotech

RNS Number : 6391C
Poolbeg Pharma PLC
24 February 2022

Poolbeg Pharma plc


Artificial Intelligence deal signed with OneThree Biotech


New treatments for infectious disease to be identified through analysis of human challenge trial data


24 February 2022 - Poolbeg Pharma (AIM: POLB, 'Poolbeg' or the 'Company') a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company with a capital light clinical model, has signed an agreement with OneThree Biotech, Inc . a biology-driven artificial intelligence ('AI') company, to identify new drug targets and treatments for Respiratory Syncytial Virus ('RSV').


Under the terms of the transaction and as aligned with Poolbeg's strategy, OneThree Biotech's state-of-the-art AI analysis tools will identify drug assets which target immune-response pathways, have a higher probability of clinical success and have the potential to prevent and / or treat infectious diseases. The analysis will prioritise drugs with existing Phase I safety data, reducing spend and risk, which can feed into Poolbeg's rapid, capital light clinical development strategy and its expanding pipeline of assets. The analysis is expected to commence in Q1 2022 with preliminary outputs from this work expected in H2 2022.


OneThree Biotech is a clinically validated AI company with a proven technology platform which integrates chemical, biological, and clinical data with cutting-edge computational tools to answer complex questions surrounding disease biology and drug discovery. The team at OneThree will work closely with Poolbeg's scientific team to build a tailored AI analysis model which can leverage the unique insights of human challenge trial data to identify disease-relevant cell signalling pathways which could lead to novel drug targets. OneThree will receive milestone payments based on candidate development and royalties on the sale of products derived from this partnership.


The Company believe that this partnership with OneThree Biotech is the first time that AI analysis has been undertaken on RSV human challenge trial data and samples to identify new drug targets. The unique nature of human challenge trials to produce disease progression data with high precision is expected to revolutionise the insights generated from this analysis. Poolbeg's lead asset POLB 001, which is progressing towards its first human challenge trial in June 2022, was identified using such disease progression data. However, by utilising AI the Company aims to identify more targets, quicker and more cost efficiently than previously possible without this technology. 


Poolbeg entered a partnership with Eurofins Genomics in October 2021 to complete RNA sequencing of Poolbeg's RSV disease progression samples from human challenge trials. This work was a key step in Poolbeg advancing its AI analysis programme. This RSV discovery dataset has been specifically designed for incorporation into OneThree's AI platform. The data sets within this project will leverage up to 140Gb of biological data per subject spread over baseline healthy measurements and the course of infection which is expected to unveil unprecedented insights.


RSV is a contagious virus that affects the respiratory tract of children and at-risk older adults; in severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and other life-threatening breathing difficulties. RSV is a significant public health threat affecting an estimated 50-million people annually, leading to 4 million global hospitalisations and up to 74,500 in-hospital deaths in children under the age of 5 years. An estimated 45% of these cases and deaths occur in new-born infants under the age of 6 months.


Jeremy Skillington, PhD, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma, said:

"OneThree Biotech's AI analysis tools will allow us to break new ground in data-driven drug discovery, by allowing us to evaluate and interrogate human challenge trial data like never before. This is a key part of our growth strategy, as we'll be able to identify and develop drugs in a more time and cost effective manner, compared with the traditional biotech model. It will enable us to identify potential new treatments which have a higher probability of clinical success and which can feed into our rapidly expanding pipeline in-line with our capital light model.


This will be the first time that AI tools will be used to analyse RSV human challenge trial disease progression data, which illustrates the significance of this deal as well as Poolbeg's innovative model. We look forward to updating the market on the outputs from this cutting-edge AI analysis in due course."


Neel S. Madhukar, PhD, co-founder and CEO of OneThree Biotech , said:

"At OneThree our mission has always been to unlock new therapeutic opportunities by understanding biology on a deeper level. The ability to combine our AI platform with the data and expertise from Poolbeg Pharma will enable just that, and create an opportunity to make meaningful progress in the treatment of infectious diseases."


Brad Pryde, co-founder and COO of OneThree Biotech , concluded:


"We have been impressed with Poolbeg Pharma's clear dedication towards using technology and data to create efficiencies in drug discovery and development. We're excited to demonstrate the strength of this partnership as future developments arise."


Footnote: During a human challenge study, a number of healthy volunteers are exposed to an infectious agent in a safe and controlled quarantine setting to assess the efficacy of vaccines or treatments. Human challenge trial data is unique in the depth of longitudinal virology, health, biomarker and symptom data collected during the course of disease from pre-infection, onset, progression and resolution of an infection .

- Ends -



Poolbeg Pharma Plc

Jeremy Skillington, CEO

Ian O'Connell, CFO


  +44 207 183 1499

finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Geoff Nash, James Thompson, Charlie Beeson,

Richard Chambers Sunila de Silva  (ECM)



+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Arden Partners PLC (Joint Broker)

John Lewellyn-Lloyd, Louisa Waddell



+44 (0) 207 614 5900

J&E Davy (Joint Broker)

Anthony Farrell, Niall Gilchrist



+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Instinctif Partners

Melanie Toyne Sewell, Rozi Morris, Tim Field



+44 (0) 20 7457 2020

Little Dog Communications for OneThree   

Jessica Yingling, Ph.D.


+1 (858) 344-8091


About Poolbeg Pharma

Poolbeg Pharma (AIM:POLB) is a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company with a capital light clinical model which is developing multiple products faster and more cost effectively than the conventional biotech model. The Company, headquartered in London, is led by a team with a track record of creation and delivery of shareholder value and aspires to become a "one-stop shop" for Big Pharma seeking mid-stage products to licence or acquire.

The Company is targeting the growing infectious disease market which has become one of the fastest growing pharma markets and is expected to exceed $250bn by 2025.

Poolbeg has access to extensive knowledge, experience, and clinical data from over 20 years of human challenge trials through Open Orphan plc , an industry leading infectious disease and human challenge trials business. The Company is using these insights to acquire new assets as well as reposition clinical stage products, reducing spend and risk.

The Company continues to rapidly expand its portfolio of assets which currently includes POLB 001, a small molecule immunomodulator for severe influenza. POLB 002, a first-in-class, intranasally administered RNA-based immunotherapy for respiratory virus infections and POLB 003, an intramuscular Melioidosis vaccine. The Company is also developing an oral vaccine delivery platform as well as progressing its AI powered drug discovery program to identify drug targets and treatments using its disease progression data.

For more information, visit or follow us @PoolbegPharma

About OneThree Biotech:  


OneThree Biotech is a private, clinically validated, biology-driven artificial intelligence (AI) company focused on using its proprietary AI platform in combination with systems biology to understand the mechanisms that drive drug-target-disease relationships. OneThree Biotech's proven technology platform integrates chemical, biological, and clinical data with cutting-edge computational tools to answer complex questions surrounding disease biology and drug discovery. The company's AI platform has shown success in identifying new targets for the treatment of various cancers and optimizing early-stage drug discovery and development by quickly and accurately generating new, testable insights and hypotheses. The OneThree platform has been validated across early-stage drug discovery through multiple partnerships, clinical trials, and more than 15 peer-reviewed publications. OneThree Biotech is based in New York City. 


For more information, please go to  

Twitter: @onethreebiotech


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