The Swiss firm will integrate VantAI and Silicon’s computational physics platform


Roivant Sciences to acquire Silicon Therapeutics to add capabilities in computational drug discovery. (Credit: robert davey from FreeImages)

Roivant Sciences has signed a $450m all-stock deal to acquire US-based Silicon Therapeutics, which leverages a computational physics platform for the discovery of drugs.

As per the terms of the deal, the Switzerland-based Roivant Sciences will also make additional payments to Silicon Therapeutics, pertaining to regulatory and commercial milestones.

Silicon Therapeutics’ computational physics platform is used for the in silico design and optimisation of small molecule drugs designed for difficult disease targets.

Based on quantum mechanics, statistical thermodynamics, and molecular dynamics, the platform includes custom methods. These methods are said to help in overcoming critical bottlenecks such as prediction of binding energies and conformational behaviour of molecules in drug discovery projects.

The computational platform is said to be powered by the company’s supercomputing cluster and custom hardware for generating accurate all-atom simulations, while meeting timescales.

It is expected to strengthen and complement Roivant Sciences’ targeted protein degradation (TPD) platform.

Silicon Therapeutics co-founder and CEO Lanny Sun said: “Silicon Therapeutics was founded with a vision of transforming the pharmaceutical industry through use of technology.

“By joining forces with Roivant, we can significantly accelerate making this vision a reality. Roivant has an impressive track record in clinical execution and building and deploying technology platforms to power pharmaceutical research, development and commercialisation.”

Powered by VantAI’s advanced machine learning models, the TDP platform will be trained on degrader-specific experimental data and also by the computational physics capabilities of Silicon Therapeutics.

VantAI is a computational drug discovery platform owned by Roivant Sciences.

The Swiss firm said that the combination of the VantAI and Silicon Therapeutics’ platform will help in solving various modality-specific challenges of degrader design and optimisation.

The company said that the integration will enable it to apply computational physics and also machine learning-based methods for drug design.

Roivant Sciences CEO Matt Gline said: “We are delighted to integrate Silicon Therapeutics into Roivant as we continue to expand our capabilities in computationally-powered drug discovery.

“We intend to leverage our established development apparatus as we rapidly advance promising compounds from our drug discovery engine into clinical studies.”

The transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.