• AI Collaboration to Design Universal Vaccines for Tropical Diseases

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AI Collaboration to Design Universal Vaccines for Tropical Diseases

Aug 31 2023

Nagasaki University and NEC OncoImmunity (NOI), a leading artificial intelligence (AI) company, have announced their collaboration to utilise NOI's AI platform in the creation of universal vaccines against highly pathogenic and tropical infectious diseases.

The joint effort between NOI and Nagasaki University aims to leverage advanced AI capabilities to optimise vaccine designs for broad protection against specific pathogen families prevalent in tropical regions. Within this partnership, NOI's AI technology will design both T cell and B cell vaccines, with Nagasaki University validating the designs using their ‘wet-lab’ expertise and donor samples collected from their extensive network of tropical field stations.

Additionally, this collaboration has established the Vaccine Informatics Department at Nagasaki University's Institute of Tropical Medicine. Led by Dr Trevor Clancy, Chief Scientific Officer of NOI, this department will utilise AI technology to support Nagasaki University's research on understanding immune protection correlations across various tropical diseases. NEC's AI drug development team members will also be part of this department.

Professor Takeshi Nagayasu, MD, PhD, Trustee (Strategic Development and Research), Nagasaki University: "We are delighted to embark on this collaboration with NEC OncoImmunity in our pursuit of designing universal vaccines targeting tropical infectious diseases. By combining the expertise of Nagasaki University in tropical medicine with the advanced AI technology of NEC, we aim to make significant strides in vaccine development for the benefit of global health."

Richard Stratford, CEO of NOI, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating: "NOI's core AI technology is well suited for the development of universal vaccines, and we are fully committed to delivering effective vaccine designs to Nagasaki University that target highly pathogenic and tropical infectious diseases. We are immensely proud of this collaboration with such a world-renowned tropical medicine institute, and we anticipate significant outcomes from this project."

Masamitsu Kitase, Corporate Senior VP, Head of the Healthcare and Life Science Division, NEC Corporation, commented: "The NEC Group is very excited by this collaboration with Nagasaki University, which will demonstrate interdisciplinary research between computer technology and knowledge for Tropical Medicine, and promises to make significant contributions to vaccine development. Infectious diseases have gained even more attention following the recent pandemic, and NEC is committed to using its state-of-art AI technology to develop effective vaccines in this space."

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