Optibrium and FMC look to boost crop protection

crops
Photo: ParvizPhotography/Pixabay

Optibrium, a developer of software and AI solutions for drug discovery, has signed a license agreement for its AI-powered discovery platform, Cerella, with crop protection company FMC Corporation (FMC).

Under the agreement, FMC will use Cerella to enhance its agrochemical discovery programmes and accelerate development of its pipeline.

The ability to accurately predict the best compounds to synthesise and which to progress to further studies, based on early experimental data, has the potential to dramatically improve the cost, time, and success rate of small molecule discovery. However, sparse datasets, coupled with the infeasibility of running all relevant experiments on all compounds of interest to determine their properties, make this difficult to achieve.

Part of Optibrium’s Augmented Chemistry suite of AI solutions, Cerella can ‘fill in the gaps’ in sparse datasets and predict the best compounds for synthesis and the most valuable experiments to prioritise, improving the return on investment in compound synthesis and testing.

FMC’s application of Cerella will be enhanced by an expanded license for Optibrium’s StarDrop software for small molecule design, optimisation and data analysis, and support from Optibrium’s scientists.

Matt Segall, CEO of Optibrium, said: “We are delighted that our robust AI and software platforms are supporting FMC, a global leader in crop protection, to enhance their discovery. FMC’s commitment to improving their processes with cutting-edge AI and machine learning approaches very much aligns with our own mission to revolutionise discovery with innovative scientific solutions, and we look forward to seeing the future impacts of this agreement.”

Seva Rostovtsev, executive vice president and chief technology officer at FMC, added: “Our collaboration with Optibrium marks a pivotal moment in crop protection research. By integrating AI into our R&D efforts, we aim to revolutionise how we develop sustainable solutions for farmers and to enhance global food security.”

Jim Cornall is editor of Future Food Today and publisher at Ayr Coastal Media. He is an award-winning writer, editor, photographer, broadcaster, designer and author. Contact Jim here.