Recursion Enters into Agreements to Acquire Cyclica and Valence to Bolster Chemistry and Generative AI Capabilities

SALT LAKE CITY and TORONTO and MONTRÉAL, May 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Recursion (NASDAQ: RXRX), a leading clinical stage TechBio company decoding biology to industrialize drug discovery, today announced it has signed agreements to acquire two companies in the AI-enabled drug discovery space: Cyclica and Valence.

“Recursion has pioneered the massive, parallel generation of -omics data with machine learning in order to map and navigate biology to discover new medicines faster. The strategic acquisitions of Cyclica and Valence add industry-leading capabilities in digital chemistry, as well as machine-learning and artificial intelligence, which combined with our large-scale automated wet-laboratories and supercomputing capabilities, enables us to deploy what I believe is the most complete, technology-enabled drug discovery solution in the biopharma industry. We look forward to showing the world proof of the compounding benefit of this full-stack approach through the rapid acceleration of our pipeline and partnerships. Amidst a rapidly accelerating global race for technology talent, these acquisitions cement Recursion as the center of gravity for the best and brightest in ML and AI who want to reimagine how drugs are discovered,” said Chris Gibson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of Recursion. “I am so excited to welcome the Cyclica and Valence teams to Recursion, especially at such a dynamic moment in history when machine learning and artificial intelligence are creating so much rapid change across every industry.”

Cyclica, headquartered in Toronto, has built two highly differentiated products in the digital chemistry space which will be integrated into the RecursionOS. MatchMaker™ is an AI-enabled deep learning engine that predicts the polypharmacology of small molecules as the foundation for small molecule drug discovery. It is able to generalize across the proteome and uses both AlphaFold2 structures and homology models. POEM™ (Pareto Optimal Embedding Model) is a unique similarity-based property prediction model. In contrast to other AI prediction models, POEM uses multiple types of molecular fingerprints to describe molecules, providing a much richer measure of similarity that leads to greater accuracy.

“Cyclica and Recursion both believe in the value of industrializing drug discovery,” said Naheed Kurji, CEO and Co-Founder of Cyclica. “Combining our proteome-wide prediction of small molecule-target interactions into Recursion’s data universe will create one of the largest fit-for-purpose biological and chemical datasets in the drug discovery space. Together, I believe Recursion will have an immense impact on human health in the years to come.”

Valence, headquartered in Montréal at Mila, the world’s largest deep learning research institute, is committed to unlocking the full potential of deep learning in the drug discovery process. The company has pioneered the application of low-data learning in drug design, unlocking the ability to design differentiated small molecules with improved properties and function from datasets too small, sparse, or noisy for traditional deep learning methods. Valence has an unparalleled track record of innovation in molecular machine learning, including best-in-class methods for AI-enabled structural biology, generative chemistry, and multi-parametric optimization, ultimately enabling the design of best-in-class or first-in-class chemistry against challenging biology.

“The integration of Valence’s powerful AI-based chemistry engine into Recursion’s diverse and data-rich operating system will help unlock the true power of AI-first digital chemistry and drug discovery,” said Daniel Cohen, CEO and Co-founder at Valence Discovery. “Recursion is a leader in technology-enabled drug discovery with a proven track record of leveraging data to uncover novel biology, and I’m thrilled for our teams to join forces and combine our respective strengths to rapidly advance new medicines to patients who need them.”

Joining forces with Recursion’s Montréal deep learning research office, Valence will become an artificial intelligence and machine learning research center to be led by Daniel Cohen with continued advisory from Yoshua Bengio.

“The acquisition of Valence gives Recursion the opportunity to create a true center of excellence for some of the most compelling AI/ML research in the world,” said Yoshua Bengio, deep learning pioneer and scientific advisor to both Recursion and Valence. “With this newly integrated group housed in the Mila ecosystem, Recursion’s team of researchers in AI and ML for drug discovery reaches a critical mass at a crucial time in the development of new AI algorithms for scientific discovery.”

Terms of the Acquisitions

Recursion has entered into agreements to acquire Cyclica for a purchase price of $40 million and Valence for a purchase price of $47.5 million, in each case subject to customary closing and post-closing purchase price adjustments. The purchase price in the acquisitions will be payable in the form of shares of Recursion Class A common stock, shares of a subsidiary of Recursion exchangeable for shares of Recursion’s Class A common stock and the assumption of certain outstanding Valence and Cyclica options. In certain limited circumstances, Recursion may pay nominal cash consideration to Valence and Cyclica shareholders in lieu of such exchangeable shares or Recursion Class A common stock. Recursion expects no material change to its cash runway as a result of these acquisitions. Recursion expects both acquisitions to be completed in the second quarter of 2023, subject to applicable closing conditions.

About Recursion
Recursion is a clinical stage TechBio company leading the space by decoding biology to industrialize drug discovery. Enabling its mission is the Recursion OS, a platform built across diverse technologies that continuously expands one of the world’s largest proprietary biological and chemical datasets. Recursion leverages sophisticated machine-learning algorithms to distill from its dataset a collection of trillions of searchable relationships across biology and chemistry unconstrained by human bias. By commanding massive experimental scale — up to millions of wet lab experiments weekly — and massive computational scale — owning and operating one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, Recursion is uniting technology, biology and chemistry to advance the future of medicine.

Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City, where it is a founding member of BioHive, the Utah life sciences industry collective. Recursion also has offices in Toronto, Montréal and the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at www.Recursion.com, or connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Cyclica
As a neo-biotech, Cyclica is efficiently advancing an industry-leading, robust and sustainable drug discovery portfolio focused on CNS, oncology, and auto-immune diseases. Cyclica has built the only generalizable platform across the entire proteome, expanding the target space for low-data targets, including AlphaFold2 structures, PPIs, and mutant oncogenic targets. Cyclica has brought together a diverse and experienced team of biologists, chemists, computer scientists, and business professionals who are collectively passionate about changing the drug discovery paradigm. By exploring the unexplored, and drugging the undrugged, Cyclica strives to impact patient health like never before. For more information, please visit: www.cyclicarx.com.

About Valence Discovery
Valence is harnessing a revolution in computation to improve human health. The company is a leader in developing and deploying AI and physics-based technologies to enable the design of differentiated small molecules with improved properties and function. Following successful partnerships with leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and an unparalleled track record of innovation featured in top AI journals and conferences, Valence has built a team of interdisciplinary industry veterans and computational experts focused on rapidly advancing a portfolio of internal drug discovery programs. Valence launched publicly in 2021, is supported by leading biotech and deeptech investors, and is headquartered in Montréal. To learn more, please visit www.valencediscovery.com.

Media Contact

Media@Recursion.com

Investor Contact
Investor@Recursion.com

Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains information that includes or is based upon “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, those regarding the timing and completion of the Cyclica and Valence acquisitions and the outcomes and benefits expected from such acquisitions; Recursion OS and other technologies; business and financial plans and performance, including cash runway; and all other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements may or may not include identifying words such as “plan,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” and similar terms. These statements are subject to known or unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements, including but not limited to: challenges inherent in pharmaceutical research and development, including the timing and results of preclinical and clinical programs, where the risk of failure is high and failure can occur at any stage prior to or after regulatory approval due to lack of sufficient efficacy, safety considerations, or other factors; our ability to leverage and enhance our drug discovery platform; our ability to obtain financing for development activities and other corporate purposes; the success of our collaboration activities; our ability to obtain regulatory approval of, and ultimately commercialize, drug candidates; our ability to obtain, maintain, and enforce intellectual property protections; cyberattacks or other disruptions to our technology systems; our ability to attract, motivate, and retain key employees and manage our growth; inflation and other macroeconomic issues; and other risks and uncertainties such as those described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K. All forward-looking statements are based on management’s current estimates, projections, and assumptions, and Recursion undertakes no obligation to correct or update any such statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.

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Ruling party official killed in Ethiopia – report

An official of Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity Party (PP) has been gunned down in the north-eastern Afar region, just two weeks after another official was killed in the north-western Amhara region, the private media outlet Tikvah Ethiopia has posted on its Telegram account.

The official was killed while on his way from Adama, a city in the Oromia region, to Awash town in Afar, Tikvah quoted the party as saying.

It blamed unnamed “terrorists” for the killing.

On 27 April, the PP head of Amhara, Girma Yeshitla, was killed in an ambush.

Girma was frequently targeted on social media by users who branded him a “traitor” over his close relationship with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The authorities blamed the attack on the Fano militia and said it was in retaliation for plans to disband regional forces and integrate them into the national security services.

The exercise that began in April sparked violent protests in Amhara.

Opposition parties have called for dialogue between local leaders and the federal government to prevent armed confrontations.

Source: BBC

ECOFEPA urged to establish mentorship programmes to support next generation

Dr Bola Preye Ayo, Chief Executive Officer and Lead Partner, Trillion Global Presidential Consulting, has called for the establishment of mentorship programmes to support the next generation.

That, she said, would help address gender gaps, and impact knowledge ideas, skills and confidence in the youth especially, women.

Dr Ayo, who is also an International Lobbyist made the call at a two-day Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Female Parliamentarians Association (ECOFEPA) (Network) Townhall Meeting held in Abuja.

‘Work together to create a world of women excelling together. When women are empowered is not a threat to men it is a complementary support for men,’ she said.

The Meeting, which was organised by the ECOWAS Parliament under the auspices of ECOFEPA under the theme: ‘Stimulating Regional Dynamics for Mentoring the Next Generation of Decision Makers’ was part of efforts to scale up women and youth representation in the ECOWAS Member States.

The Meeting which had ‘Rejuvenate Democracy by Giving Voice to Women and Youth’ as a primary pillar and ‘Think Politics’ as a slogan had in attendance over 300 participants drawn from women and youth networks within the ECOWAS sub-region.

It had the outcome objective of improving the communication and support link between ECOFEPA, the participating women, youth networks as well as young men in reducing skill gaps through active participation of women and youth capacity-building sessions, boosting the self-confidence of participants, increasing the involvement of women and youth in politics and set the stage for the establishment of sustained engagement with political young leaders to develop a road map that would stimulate a national dynamic for mentorship of young leaders.

Madam Ann Iyonu, Executive Director of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, implored West African governments to prioritise women and youth representation in governance.

She said democracy could not thrive and function well if it was not inclusive.

She, therefore hailed ECOFEPA for a timely meeting that gave a voice to women and youth.

She, however, spoke on the participation of women and youth in other countries, adding that they could play critical roles in leadership and governance.

‘The imperative of maintaining women and youth in leadership to make democracy in our sub-region more meaningful cannot be overemphasised.

‘Across the sub-region, we have very few women and youth participating as parliamentarians. This is not the case in other climes where the gap has progressively and significantly narrowed.

‘It is instructive that West Africa, with only 15.7 per cent of the average proportion of seats held by women in the national parliaments, lacks behind other regions in Africa,’ she said.

Madam Iyonu appealed to governments for a conscious deliberate effort in changing the status quo of women and youth through education programmes that would boost their knowledge and skills.

She also called for the adoption of technologies in politics that would attract women and youths to participate in politics and change the narrative.

Madam Woraye Sarr, President of ECOFEPA, urged Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across Member States to mainstream youth activities into their projects to promote women and youth participation in politics.

That, she explained, was achieving the 30 per cent affirmative action on women’s representation required more efforts by all stakeholders, noting that CSOs had greater roles to play to ensure success in the struggle.

Dr Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, addressing delegates, said the town hall meeting was an opportunity for constituents to have a face-to-face interaction with their representatives and table their concerns for scaling up social inclusion for citizens.

He expressed satisfaction that the meeting strategically aligned with the current ECOWAS Vision 2050, which placed more emphasis on women and youth development in the sub-region and thereby addressed some of the issues that had contributed to gender inequalities in the region, irrespective of the progress made by most countries regarding women’s participation in the economic and social sectors.

Other speakers called for mentorship for West African women and youths for faster development in the region.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Let’s demonstrate collective responsibility to avert violent extremism – Monsignor Basaanah

Monsignor Christopher Basaanah, Parish Priest of Saint Monica Catholic Church, at Nyankpala, has said there was the need for the citizenry to demonstrate their collective responsibility to avert violent extremism in the country.

He said the events in other neighbouring countries required the citizenry to be vigilant through awareness creation across board in the country.

Monsignor Basaanah made the call in a speech read on his behalf at a town hall meeting on violent extremism held at Nyankpala in the Tolon District of the Northern Region.

The meeting, held under the theme: ‘Violent Extremism: Understanding the Drivers and Building Resilience through Education and Dialogue’, was attended by various interest groups including the youth, traditional authorities, religious leaders, and students in the district.

It formed part of the Sahel Peace Initiative being implemented by the National Catholic Secretariat of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference with funding support from the Catholic Relief Services.

Monsignor Basaanah, said ‘We all have a responsibility in ensuring that our country is safe from the activities of violent extremists by working together to promote peaceful coexistence in our communities.’

Mr Fuseini Salifu Issifu, Tolon District Chief Executive said there was the need for peaceful coexistence in the country to maximise the various programmes and projects put in place by the government.

Mr Issifu said: ‘If we continue to live in peace and harmony among ourselves, it will be difficult for violent extremists to penetrate our communities.’

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Gladstone Kumeko, Tolon District Police Commander, sensitised participants on violent extremism, radicalisation and admonished them to take their personal safety seriously.

He urged them to be on the look-out and report suspicious characters to law enforcement officers for the appropriate actions to be taken.

Mr Apullah Adintingah Patrick, Zongo Chief of Nyankpala said the event was organised at the right time urging young people to eschew violence to grow and develop in peaceful communities.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana National Fire Service opens new station at Saboba

The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has opened a new fire station at Saboba in the Northern Region to bring its services closer to the people and augment efforts at protecting lives and property.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Grade 1 (ACFO1) Mr James Ankrah, the Northern Regional Fire Commander, during the opening of the station, reiterated the commitment of the GNFS to protecting lives and property.

The facility would serve as a catalyst to boost investor confidence whilst providing development and other employment opportunities for the youth.

He said the GNFS had extended its coverage by opening two more stations in the region, adding that the Kpandai and Kumbungu district stations would soon be opened.

He charged the Saboba District Fire Officer to ensure that the facility was put to good use to reduce fire cases in the area.

Mr George Kitingyaab Bingrini, the District Chief Executive, said the new station would help safeguard residents against fire outbreaks, which often resulted in loss of lives and property.

He tasked the personnel to continue to sensitise community members on measures to reduce fire cases in the community.

Assistant Divisional Officer Grade One (ADO1) Mr Yussif Issahaku, Saboba District Fire Officer, said the station would serve as a motivation for personnel to be committed to work.

He pledged his commitment to ensuring the facility was put to good use.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Chieftaincy Ministry moves to revive chieftaincy institution with more traditional powers

The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs has said it was working to amend the Chieftaincy Act to accord chiefs more powers to ensure effective governance and development at the local level.

Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Sector Minister, observed that the Chieftaincy Act, 2008 (Act 759), which was passed some 15 years ago, had been rendered obsolete by emerging political, cultural and social dynamics which had displaced the original role of chiefs in national development.

Mr Boateng made the remarks when he chaired the just ended Aboakyer Festival by the chiefs and people Effutu in Winneba, a celebration characterised by traditional glitz, joy and glamour.

It was his case that the Act in its current form placed a lot of limitations on the chieftaincy institution which had already lost significant power and reverence, an oddity the amendment sought to correct.

‘It is part of the whole decentralisation process so that power is centred at the base and the base can make simple decisions and the chiefs must be given the authority to operate.

‘There is too much power at the top in Accra. We need to get to the level where local government becomes the way for development instead of the central government,’ he said.

Later in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the minister expressed disquiet about how easy it had become for people to disregard directives by chiefs and challenge their authority in court.

‘A chief must be able to summon a community member to the palace for doing something wrong.

‘There must a local level resolution to issues when they come. It should not always go to court; it should not go to Accra,’ he stressed.

Mr Boateng also urged the youth to respect and learn the Ghanaian culture and traditions to help preserve and protect the national heritage for posterity.

He noted with worry that some practices such as sacred days for fishing and farming, which were meant to ensure sustainable use of resources had been discarded by the present generation.

Even worse, he said attempts by government to bring back some of those practices through policies had been met with opposition from some citizens without justified cause.

‘For instance, the fishing closed season which data shows has been useful over the years, is being vilified by some people for no reason. That is not the way to build a country,’ he said.

The Minister insisted that the customs and traditions of Ghana had what it took to develop the country, adding that with a mindset of possibility and teamwork, Ghana could join the league of great nations.

Mr Boateng also made clear his position clear on the LGBTQ+ controversy, deploring and repugning the agenda as it contravened the traditions and customs of the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Jim Morti promises to make Ketu South an industrial hub

Mr Jim Yao Morti, aspiring parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ketu South Constituency, has appealed to delegates to endorse his candidature, promising to make Ketu South an industrial hub.

The entrepreneur, who has experience in construction and transportation, promised to construct ‘one factory every year’ to provide jobs for the young and vibrant men and women in the populous constituency.

Mr Morti, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), disclosed that he had already constructed a coconut processing factory at Agbozume-Gbadzame, which would soon be commissioned to start operation.

‘I’m a doer; and would not give empty promises,’ he said.

He said he had good plans to develop the various sectors like agriculture, education, health, road and sports in Ketu South and transform the industrial sector for the majority of the people to become financially self-dependent.

‘Often, we hear people talk about China. It’s because in every corner there’s some form of manufacturing company; and so, people go there to buy goods.’

‘Ketu South can also be transformed into an industrial hub to benefit our youth, especially. As an entrepreneur, I’m promising Ketu South one factory every year. A factory in 2024, 2025, … 2028,’ Mr Morti said.

Mr Morti said he decided to contest the primary to serve his constituency and that though he never occupied any leadership position, he had attempted some development projects and needed the support of delegates first and later, the mandate of the people to do more for his people.

‘Initially, I was just trying to support the development needs of the area but realised that I needed to have the people’s mandate to be able to do some of those projects.’

‘That was when I decided to join the race. So, I appeal to delegates to vote for me for the progress of Ketu South.’

Mr Morti with two other aspirants; Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the incumbent Member of Parliament, and Mr Foga Nukunu, an educationist, are in the race seeking the nod of delegates in NDC’s presidential and parliamentary primaries slated for May 13, 2023.

The Church of Pentecost, Aflao, will be the venue for the elections.

Source: Ghana News Agency