Integrated Biosciences and Illumina Ventures Labs Collaborate on Novel Therapeutics Targeting the Transcriptome

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The partnership will create therapeutic assets and new discovery platforms and potentially reshape drug discovery.

Integrated Biosciences, a biotechnology company that uses synthetic biology and machine learning to develop next-generation therapeutics for age-related diseases, announced on May 28, 2024, that it is collaborating with Illumina Ventures Labs to create novel therapeutics targeting the transcriptome. Integrated Biosciences will integrate the company’s drug discovery engine with Illumina sequencing.

Integrated Biosciences, which is developing a portfolio of preclinical-stage assets to treat multiple age-related diseases, stated in a press release that the partnership “will generate additional therapeutic assets and new discovery platforms that hold the promise of reshaping drug discovery” (1). The partnership will include monetary and scientific support and allow Integrated Biosciences to discover and design new classes of small-molecule therapeutics that shape the transcriptomes and methylomes of cell populations. The company plans for these drug candidates to be applicable to diseases where cell state and identity are important, including diseases related to aging and development.

“All drugs act by modifying cellular components, and nucleic acids are particularly important. This partnership is a nexus to using small molecules to systematically target RNA expression and DNA modifications across cell types, such that we can control exactly how cells behave,” said Felix Wong, PhD, co-founder of Integrated Biosciences, in the press release (1). “We will generate unprecedented large-scale datasets that provide maps of cell states and how to alter them, charting the course for definitive cures for age-related diseases.”

“Illumina Ventures supports innovative companies that are pursuing breakthrough science, and our partnership with Integrated Biosciences, through our Illumina Ventures Labs, represents an investment in the intersection of healthcare, genomics, and sequencing,” said Ron Mazumder, PhD, partner at Illumina Ventures, in the release. “Integrated Biosciences is an outlier early stage company that has already pioneered breakthroughs in drug discovery. Illumina Ventures is convinced that, with our unique support and resources, Integrated Biosciences will unlock novel therapeutic candidates and modalities that bring next-generation sequencing to the forefront of drug discovery.”


In December 2023, Integrated Biosciences announced a new class of small-molecule antibiotics discovered leveraging an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform (2). Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany, collaborated on the study, which screened more than 12 million candidate compounds.

“This discovery of a new class of antibiotics is a breakthrough result showing that artificial intelligence and explainable deep learning are uniquely capable of catalyzing drug discovery,” said Wong (2). “Our work makes publicly available several high-powered models to accurately predict both antibiotic activity and toxicity. Importantly, this is one of the first demonstrations that deep learning models can explain what they are predicting, with immediate and far-reaching implications to how drug discovery is done and how efficiently we can find new drugs using AI.”

“An important implication of this study is that deep learning models in drug discovery can, and in many cases should, be made explainable. While AI continues to make an impact, it is also limited by the many black box models that are commonly used and obfuscate the underlying decision-making process. By opening up these black boxes, we aim to create more generalizable insights that may be more useful in accelerating the use and development of next-generation approaches to drug discovery,” said Satotaka Omori, PhD, founding member and Head of Aging Biology at Integrated Biosciences (2).


  1. Integrated Biosciences. Integrated Biosciences Collaborate with Illumina Ventures Labs to Design Novel Therapeutics Targeting the Transcriptome. Press Release. May 28, 2024.
  2. Integrated Biosciences. Integrated Biosciences Announces Nature Publication Identifying New Class of Antibiotics Discovered Via Company’s AI-Powered Platform. Press Release. BusinessWire. Dec. 20, 2023.