Published by Anthony Di Pizio
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Melbourne, Australia based Opyl (ASX:OPL) today announced that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) software can make ''probability of success'' predictions on the likelihood of a vaccine or therapy succeeding in clinical trials. They have focused this announcement on COVID-19 but says the software may be used for any clinical trial.
The company claims to have run software tests investigating the 475 registered COVID-19 clinical trials currently underway and:
They do not disclose what the two promising vaccine candidates are, and without further information investors are forced to simply go off the company's word as to whether the results are as advertised. This is perhaps the reason for the additional trading halt imposed by the ASX today.
In August of this year, the company released its R&D portfolio and one of the priority items was a ''Clinical Trial Predictor Tool''. The goal of this tool is to utilize their AI technology to examine previous clinical trial designs and identify sources of failure, and help companies optimize their recruitment and enrollment processes.
The company claims that by changing certain variables within a trial, the probability of success increases, as per Opyl CEO Michelle Gallaher:
“Our approach is to use AI to not just predict the outcome, but to demonstrate that changing specific clinical trials variables can improve the probability of success,” Gallaher said.
“Our goal is to improve the efficiency, improve the application of research funding and ultimately the return on investment for scientists, clinicians, health technology developers and investors.”
Given the amount of time and money spent on clinical trials, optimization in this way could represent significant cost savings for the companies running them.
Opyl is small (sub AU$10 million market cap) but boasts a comprehensive list of clients:
The company's core business is attempting to capture some of the US$3.62 billion in yearly digital marketing spend (2019) by pharmaceutical and biotech companies. To do this they offer six key services:
The ASX queried today's COVID-19 related announcement and OPL is now in a trading halt pending further clarification.
We expect the company will be required to offer more colour on their AI powered predictor tool, as they were a little light on specific details.
You can view the original announcement here.
Shares were up 76% prior to the halt.
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