Photo of Agata Blasiak

Biotechnology & medicine

Agata Blasiak

She co-developed a variety of AI platforms that could optimize dosing or speed up the search for new drug combinations suitable for treating cancer and other diseases.

Year Honored

The N.1 Institute for Health, WisDM, National University of Singapore

Asia Pacific

Hails From
Asia Pacific

Agata Blasiak is a Senior Research Fellow in the N.1 Institute for Health (N.1) and Institute for Digital Medicine (WisDM) at the National University of Singapore. Her three main achievements include CURATE.AI, IDentif.AI, and SHEAR SCD.

CURATE.AI is an artificial intelligence (AI)-derived platform designed to optimize dose selection that generates effective responses to therapy with minimal toxicity. The platform has been clinically validated and is now being investigated in oncology.

Dr. Blasiak has been working together with clinicians and set up the first multi-patient CURATE.AI clinical trials in oncology——CURATE.AI Multiple Myeloma and PRECISE CURATE.AI—— to optimize cancer therapy in blood cancer and a range of solid tumors. PRECISE is in full swing with several patients dosed and life-saving results already observed.

The IDentif.AI platform leverages AI to look for the best combination of drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Dr. Blasiak and colleagues worked on optimizing which drugs to put together for the highest chance of success in treating the patients.

IDentif.AI is different from traditional AI as it does not use pre-existing data to train algorithms to predict drug interactions. Also, IDentif.AI does not use in silico modeling to predict drug synergies. Instead, IDentif.AI uses a small number of actual experiments to effectively crowdsource the live virus and find the best possible drugs and respective doses for optimal efficacy and safety.

With traditional drug screening, a similar 12-drug set tested at ten different doses would have generated one trillion possible combinations. Using IDentif.AI the number of combinations needed to be tested to learn about this innumerable interaction space was cut down to near 100. Given the drastic reduction in the number of tests, the researchers completed the study within two weeks.

Using the IDentif.AI platform, researchers have found that a combination of the antiviral drugs remdesivir, ritonavir, and lopinavir works best against SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Blasiak is a first-author of a publication describing this project, (Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, 2020), which has already benefited the clinical community.

The impact of IDentif.AI was acknowledged by the SCS Tech Heroes in Crisis/Pathfinder Award received alongside multiple software/app platforms that have been deployed in Singapore to facilitate contact tracing and community safety.

Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Blasiak developed a saliva collection device (SCD) ——SHEAR SCD. It was born to address an urgent need, making the most out of what was available. Within a few months, the device had been patented, and the project received funding to lead it to commercialization.