Poolbeg Pharma PLC – SAB Endorses Influenza Drug Targets

Scientific Advisory Board Endorses Influenza Drug Targets Identified in AI Drug Discovery Programme

Consensus reached on prioritised novel drug targets to bring forward for lab-based validation

26 October 2023  (AIM: POLB, OTCQB: POLBF, ‘Poolbeg’ or the ‘Company’), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company targeting diseases with a high unmet medical need, announces that its Scientific Advisory Board (‘SAB’) has endorsed the influenza drug targets identified in its AI-led drug discovery programme.

Key highlights

·      Prioritisation of influenza drug targets which have the highest likelihood of success

·      New potential collaborative routes to maximise the impact of the outputs identified

·      Ongoing discussions with prospective partners on these novel and exciting targets discovered using AI

The SAB was presented with comprehensive data and information regarding the large number of novel drug targets identified as part of the CytoReason collaboration in June 2023, along with a proposed list of prioritised candidates. Prioritisation was based on several key criteria and an evaluation by both Poolbeg and CytoReason’s teams of expert biologists and data scientists to identify the top-ranking genes potentially suitable for the treatment of influenza.

The members of the SAB considered the data and were impressed with the outputs of the programme, a consensus was reached on the prioritised list of novel drug targets to bring forward for lab-based validation, which is expected to complete in 2024. They also provided valuable insight into how to most effectively validate the targets in line with Poolbeg’s model.

The global interest in AI-led drug discovery continues to grow, with Big Pharma investing heavily in the space. This approach to drug discovery enables identification of targets faster, at lower cost, with reduced risk, and a higher likelihood of success. The Company continues to discuss the exciting outputs from its AI-led drug discovery programmes with prospective partners.

Prof Luke O’Neill, SAB Chair and Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin said, “I am excited by the potential of these novel drug targets generated in Poolbeg’s AI-led drug discovery programme. Global focus on AI-led drug discovery continues to grow and Poolbeg is leading the way due to the uniqueness and the quality of the data incorporated into its programme which has unveiled unparalleled insights into human disease.”

Prof Brendan Buckley, SAB Member and Honorary Clinical Professor at University College Cork and University College Dublin said: “Influenza is a disease which affects millions each year and there remains a significant unmet need for effective treatments. By targeting specific genes which are involved in influenza disease progression and severity, this approach could transform the treatment of this infectious disease for both seasonal and pandemic strains.”

Jeremy Skillington, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Poolbeg Pharma, said: “The endorsement of these prioritised targets generated from our AI-led drug discovery programme by the Scientific Advisory Board validates our approach and strategy going forward. We are committed to improving the world’s access to critically needed treatments, and we believe our use of such innovative technology will play a pivotal role in advancing healthcare solutions.”

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