Combining AI and Automation in the SynFini™ Platform to Accelerate Small Molecule Drug Discovery

Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Drug Discovery & Development, Laboratory Technology,
  • Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The rate of chemical discovery and development is hampered by the fact that chemistry is still inherently a manual process, both in conducting reactions in the lab and reporting results in the written literature. Both are subject to the skill of the practitioner and the next chemist who attempts to reproduce their reported results. In an effort to improve and accelerate the reproducibility and transferability of chemistry, we have developed an automation platform named SynFini™ that automates the design, reaction screening and optimization (RSO), and production of target molecules.

SynFini includes three core components. A computational tool, SynRoute, develops synthetic strategies for molecules of interest. Routes to target molecules are built by combining knowledge of known chemistry from reaction databases and new reactions predicted by machine learning. A high throughput RSO platform, SynJet, enabled by inkjet printing uses statistical design of experiment (DoE) to validate these strategies. Automated analysis of the RSO results facilitates the preparation of digital synthesis protocols that can be downloaded to a bench top multistep synthesizer, called AutoSyn. AutoSyn is a flow chemistry workstation capable of performing synthesis routes at the milligram to gram scale while automatically capturing all synthesis parameters in real-time into a new automated chemistry reaction database.

To accelerate multi-parametric optimization in drug discovery, artificial intelligence (AI) can be included to aid in the design, selection and prioritization of target structures with desired properties, such as biological activity and ADMET properties, and can be interfaced with SynFini automated synthesis and bioassay testing for rapid ‘design-make-test’ cycles. We are also using the core SynFini components for process development to provide synthetic route and kinetic data to create ‘digital twin’ computer models of continuous manufacturing systems for APIs that enable direct translation of scale-up from bench to multi-kg/hr production in one step.

Register for this webinar to hear about how the SynFini tools work independently and then how they fit together into seamless AI-data driven automated solutions for drug discovery and process development are presented.


Nathan Collins, A Division of SRI International

Nathan Collins, Chief Strategy Officer, SRI Biosciences, A Division of SRI International

Nathan Collins is responsible for the discovery and translation of strategic research and development programs at SRI International’s (SRI) Biosciences Division into advanced platforms that have societal and commercial impact. He has built a growing pipeline of several cutting-edge technologies in SRI Biosciences that are innovating drug discovery and development. Nathan is currently leading SRI’s SynFini™ program combining AI guided data interpretation and decision making with fully automated research to streamline discovery and development of high impact products such as drugs, diagnostics and industrial chemicals.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

  • Pharmaceutical R&D Professionals
  • Pharmaceutical Executives and Thought Leaders
  • Medicinal Chemists
  • Process Chemists
  • Chemical Industry
  • Chemical Engineers
  • AI Designers
  • Computational Chemists
  • Process R&D
  • Development Scientists

What You Will Learn

  • The SynFini platfrom combines multiple AI design and lab automation tools to create automated workflows in molecular discovery and development
  • AI design models are only as good as the data they are based on – the intelligent use of automation can rapidly fill gaps in both data volume and quality for improved AI-guided decision making
  • When suitably combined, AI and automation have the potential to greatly increase the speed and quality of R&D while reducing the overall cost of molecular discovery and development

Xtalks Partner

SRI International

SRI International, a non-profit research institute founded in 1946 and headquartered in Menlo Park, California, creates world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive. SRI Biosciences, a division of SRI International, integrates basic biomedical research with drug and diagnostics discovery, and preclinical and clinical development. SRI Biosciences has advanced more than 175 drugs to clinical trials, and approximately 20 have reached the market. The division is focused on novel platforms and programs in a variety of therapeutic areas targeting Discovery through Preclinical development in high unmet medical need areas. SRI Biosciences collaborates with a broad range of partners from small and virtual biotechnology companies to top pharmaceutical companies and other leading industry partners. More information is available at

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