In order to improve the efficiency of discovering new crop protection chemistry, FMC Corporation has entered into a partnership with Cyclica Inc, a leading biotech company specializing in computational biophysics and Artificial Intelligence.
This collaboration would help FMC expand its research of novel active ingredients that save crops from pests and diseases.
“Discovering a new molecule with the right efficacy, mode of action and sustainability profile is a complex, multi-year process requiring hundreds of researchers testing tens of thousands of compounds annually. Augmenting our traditional research and screening processes with the power of artificial intelligence will help us identify and assess more molecules faster and with greater precision,” said Dr Kathleen Shelton, FMC’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
To optimize the discovery of novel compounds, FMC will use Ligand Design™ and Ligand Express™, Cyclica’s proprietary AI platforms.
Powered by MatchMaker™, a proteome screening technology, and POEM™, molecular properties’ prediction technology, Ligand Design™ and Ligand Express™ would assess millions of chemical structures in order to provide FMC researchers with molecule predictions that are specific to the pesticidal target of interest.
A similar AI-augmented approach to discovery research has been used successfully for years in industries such as pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
“Ligand Design™ and Ligand Express™ have been instrumental in the design and screening of new medicines, and we look forward to applying those learnings in support of FMC’s global discovery research programs,” Naheed Kurji, co-founder, president and CEO of Cyclica, said.
It is worth noting that FMC’s Research & Development team of over 800 scientists and associates are guiding one of the most robust discovery and development pipelines in the agricultural industry at its innovation centres around the world.