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Almirall, Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Nostrum Biodiscovery to Partner in New AI Research


The collaboration, named ARTIBAND, will extend over a 3-year period



Almirall recently announced its new collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Nostrum Biodiscovery (BSC’s first spin-off) to “explore artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning generative approaches to design new protein-protein modulators that will be the basis of new therapies for dermatological diseases.”1

The collaboration project, named ARTIBAND, will extend over a 3-year period. During its first phase, AI technology will be developed and trained based on public domain data. In its second phase, the program will be further enhanced to discover new protein-protein modulators of Almirall’s interest. ARTIBAND received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation as part of the EU-funded Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan.

"This new collaboration with BSC and Nostrum Biodiscovery marks a further step in our artificial intelligence and medical dermatology journey. Applying AI to protein-protein modulator design not only discovers new therapeutic approaches but also fundamentally reshapes how we tackle and solve dermatological challenges. This endeavor represents a bold step forward in our commitment to improving lives through groundbreaking research and innovation," said Francesc Fernández, the data science director at Almirall, in the news release.

According to Almirall, “The application of generative artificial intelligence methods in the pharmaceutical sector is at an early stage but has great potential. One of the most promising areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning is generative chemical modelling. AI platforms are first trained with a huge amount of chemical data for an algorithm to ‘learn the chemical language.’ Once this is done, generative algorithms can propose new chemical materials based on the learned language model. In this way, the generative model proposes compounds that are different and could be complementary to those found in compound libraries and which are biased on demand.”

Last month, Almirall announced its first AI collaboration with AbsciCorporation, a drug discovery partnership aimed to develop and commercialize AI-designed therapeutics to treat chronic and debilitating dermatological diseases.2

Leaders from BSC and Nostrum Biodiscovery also weighed in on the announcement of their partnership with Almirall.

“Almirall and Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) have been collaborating since 2018 in the research program SilicoDerm, a project focused on computational drug design applied to dermatological therapeutic targets. Silicoderm has been the starting point of AI-based tools for drug discovery. "This collaboration, backed by cutting-edge generative artificial intelligence and machine learning, opens new avenues to advance dermatology research. At BSC, we are dedicated to harnessing the power of supercomputing and AI for the greater good, and this partnership exemplifies our commitment to pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery," said Víctor Guallar, the chief scientific officer of Barcelona Supercomputing Center, in the news release.

“As a spin-off from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, we look forward to bringing our expertise in AI-based drug discovery to this transformative collaboration with Almirall. Together, we aim to revolutionize the treatment landscape for dermatological diseases. Our innovative approach, underpinned by generative AI, has the potential to uncover new therapeutic possibilities that can have a significant impact on patients' lives," said Alexis Molina, director of artificial intelligence at Nostrum Biodiscovery, in the news release.


  1. Almirall, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and Nostrum Biodiscovery collaborate to seek new therapies through AI. News release. Almirall. December 5, 2023. Accessed December 5, 2023.https://www.almirall.com/newsroom/news/almirall-barcelona-supercomputing-center-bsc-and-nostrum-biodiscovery-collaborate-to-seek-new-therapies-through-ai
  2. Almirall and Absci announce AI drug discovery partnership to rapidly develop novel treatments for dermatologic diseases. News release. Almirall. November 14, 2023. Accessed December 5, 2023. https://www.almirall.com/newsroom/news/almirall-absci-announce-ai-drug-discovery-partnership-to-rapidly-develop-novel-treatments-for-dermatological-diseases
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