Insilico Medicine Announces the Nomination of Two Preclinical Candidates for PHD2, 12 Months After Program Initiation

NEW YORK and SHANGHAI, Jan. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Insilico Medicine, a global clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in the applications of end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI) for drug discovery and development, today announced that the company has nominated preclinical candidates (PCC) for ISM012-077 and ISM012-042 for the treatment of anemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), respectively.


ISM012-077 and ISM012-042 are small-molecule prolyl hydroxylase domain 2 (PHD2) inhibitors with novel scaffolds and distinct binding modes, demonstrated by a co-crystal structure. ISM012-077 is a potential best-in-class PHD2 inhibitor for anemia of CKD treatment that promotes erythropoiesis through both erythropoietin (EPO) induction and improved iron utilization, while demonstrating a favorable safety profile in vitro and in vivo. ISM012-042 is potentially a first-in-class gut-restricted PHD2 inhibitor for IBD treatment that induces the expression of gut barrier protective genes.

"Anemia and IBD affect large patient populations that are in urgent need of efficacious and safe drugs," said Feng Ren, Ph.D., CSO of Insilico Medicine. "I am glad to see that Insilico Medicine, empowered by our powerful Chemistry42 AI platform, is able to efficiently discover novel drug candidates with high novelty and promising preclinical activity and safety profiles for further development. We are committed to rapidly progressing both PCCs, either independently or in collaboration with third parties, into clinical trials for these patient populations."

Empowered by its AI-based platform, Chemistry42, Insilico Medicine synthesized and tested approximately 115 compounds in total and discovered both PCCs within 12 months of project initiation. Insilico Medicine has initiated investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies for both PCCs.

"Unlike some of our other programs where the targets are novel, PHD2 is a known, well-studied target. However, here we are betting on the role of PHD2 in the barrier function and the possible role in IBD—a new indication for this target. To pursue this indication, we used Chemistry42, our multi-agent generative chemistry AI platform, to design gut-restricted molecules with specific properties. Also, we believe that PHD2 is implicated in aging and longevity and may have additional effects to be explored in the future", said Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine. "It took 12 months from program initiation to the nomination of preclinical candidates, including the completion of supporting animal studies for both anemia and IBD, demonstrating the power of Insilico’s AI platform."

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, an end-to-end artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques to discover novel target discovery and to design novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is delivering breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system (CNS) diseases and aging-related diseases. Website:

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