Startup Evozyne identifies ‘supernatural’ proteins with Nvidia’s pretrained AI model

[Protein image courtesy of Nvidia]

AI computing firm Nvidia (Nasdaq:NVDA) and the Chicago-based biotech startup Evozyne have teamed up to develop an AI model for designing therapeutic proteins. Using NVIDIA’s BioNeMo language model service, the companies developed the Protein Transformer Variational AutoEncoder (ProT-VAE) model.

The initial focus of the Evozyne research team was on the PAH gene, which governs the production of the phenylalanine-hydroxylase enzyme. A mutation in the PAH gene has been linked to phenylketonuria, a rare condition characterized by elevated levels of phenylalanine that can lead to neurological problems.

With the goal of developing a novel treatment for phenylketonuria, ProT-VAE created new synthetic PAH variants that they predicted would have “supernatural” functionality. Lab tests eventually demonstrated that some of the protein variants were up to 2.5 times more effecti…

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