Powering the AI Revolution for Drug Discovery with High-Quality Empirical Data

Life Sciences, Drug Discovery & Development,
  • Tuesday, December 05, 2023

The transformative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on various industries is undeniable. However, for the biopharmaceutical industry, AI has yet to meet its full potential. The significant barrier that remains in bringing an AI revolution to drug discovery is the scarcity of high-quality, biologically relevant training data.

In this webinar, 1859 will discuss its approach to rapidly generating high-quality, empirical, small molecule datasets, and its comparison to other approaches, like public data curation and traditional screening technology. In addition, the panel will walk through case studies that show how this data accelerates drug discovery at Hit ID through Lead OP.

1859’s discovery engine has the capacity to generate millions of active and inactive data points with embedded structure-activity relationships (SAR). To generate high-quality datasets, AI is used to inform diversity or focused library design of drug-like, combinatorial libraries, which are screened in biologically relevant assays with dose-response readouts. Ultimately, this results in high rates of true positive and true negative data points, and exceptionally high activity confirmation rates. This approach uncovers novel hits for multiple targets and modalities, and constructs robust AIML models with the proprietary screening data generated.

The ability to rapidly produce high-quality datasets at scale to train AIML models opens doors for pursuing “undruggable” targets, novel modalities, and emerging resistance mutations, all with limited and sparse public data available. Beyond optimizing for potency and selectivity, advancements in AI can synergistically optimize molecules throughout the pipeline beyond hit finding, tackling drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and other necessary biological criteria.

Join this webinar to gain insights into how data disrupts the drug discovery paradigm and ultimately delivers new medicines to patients faster.


Sara Thrall Cortese, 1859

Sara Thrall Cortese, PhD, Co-founder, Scientific Lead, 1859

Sara Thrall Cortese, PhD, Co-founder and Scientific Lead at 1859, is an accomplished pharmaceutical R&D leader with a 20-year track record harnessing innovation for the discovery of dozens of novel therapeutic clinical candidates for multiple diseases. With leadership roles at GlaxoSmithKline and then as Vice President and Global Head at Hoffmann La-Roche, Sara was instrumental in the delivery of novel therapeutics and platform innovations in R&D.

1859 originated from such a platform project she spearheaded at Roche with an academic partner to disrupt and accelerate the drug discovery paradigm. Through her biotech and biopharma advisory roles, most recently as a Managing Director in Accenture’s Life Sciences Consulting practice, Sara helps position emerging technologies and breakthrough science to deliver on the promise of personalized medicine. She holds a BA degree in Chemistry from Macalester College, a PhD in Chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Maryland and postdoctoral fellowships at a Max-Planck Institute in Germany and the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.

Message Presenter
Andrew MacConnell, 1859

Andrew MacConnell, PhD, Co-founder, Scientific Fellow, 1859

Andrew MacConnell, PhD, Co-founder and Scientific Fellow at 1859, brings deep interdisciplinary expertise and a strong innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to drive next-generation therapeutic discovery. His background in chemistry, molecular biology, microfluidics, optics, system automation and data informatics has resulted in innovative instrumentation and key strengths in platform integration. As a serial entrepreneur, he also co-founded Plexium, a platform accelerating discoveries of new cancer, neurodegeneration and other disease therapies. Andrew holds a BS in physics and MS in Chemistry and earned his PhD in Chemistry at Scripps Research.

Message Presenter
Deirdre Olynick, 1859

Deirdre Olynick, PhD, MBA, VP Partnerships and Portfolio, 1859

Deirdre Olynick, PhD, MBA, Vice President of Partnerships and Portfolio at 1859, brings strong expertise in establishing collaborations, negotiating strategic alliances and developing growth strategies. Prior to 1859, she served as Head of Corporate Business Development at Zymergen and Head of Business Development at ATOM (Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine), a public-private partnership for AI drug discovery.

Deirdre also served as Associate Director of the Global Cancer Program at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center where she implemented strategies around partnerships, program affiliates and fundraising. With more than 70 publications, Deirdre has a PhD in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This webinar will appeal to biotech and pharmaceutical professionals including Scientists, Business Leaders and Investors alike.

What You Will Learn

Attendees will gain insights into:

  • 1859’s approach to generating high-quality empirical training data, while maintaining diversity, density and scale
  • Case studies that demonstrate how high-quality empirical data augments drug discovery
  • How this approach compares to other types of data generation in the biopharmaceutical industry

Xtalks Partner


1859 is on a mission to accelerate drug discovery and deliver the next generation medicines to patients faster. Our activity-based pico-scale small molecule screening engine is uniquely integrated with generative AI models to streamline de novo drug design for both novel and well-validated targets with unmet needs. Iterative design-make-screen cycles are powered by multi-parametric molecule optimization models trained on our large experimental data sets from validated libraries in addition to conventional public data. Our engine yields data that are rich with SAR trends in desired properties that enable our experienced team of scientists to test fewer compounds faster and quickly prioritize novel selective lead compounds for conversion into clinical candidates, unlocking new therapeutic opportunities faster for patients who are waiting.

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