FMC Corporation Collaborates with Cyclica to Improve Research Efficiency Using Artificial Intelligence

Jun 29, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 

FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) has entered into a collaboration with Cyclica Inc, a leading biotechnology company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) and computational biophysics, to accelerate and improve the efficiency of discovering new crop protection chemistry.  This is among the first of several new technology collaborations and approaches that FMC is pursuing to expand its research of novel active ingredients that protect crops from diseases and destructive pests.

"Today we have an award-winning pipeline of more than 25 promising new molecules," said Dr. Kathleen Shelton, vice president and chief technology officer of FMC. "Discovering a new molecule with the right efficacy, mode of action and sustainability profile is a complex, multi-year process requiring hundreds of researchers testing tens of thousands of compounds annually.  Augmenting our traditional research and screening processes with the power of artificial intelligence will help us identify and assess more molecules faster and with greater precision."

FMC will use Ligand Design™ and Ligand Express™, Cyclica's proprietary AI platforms, to optimize the discovery of novel compounds at a pace that far exceeds typical chemistry discovery research programs. Powered by MatchMaker™, a deep learning proteome screening technology, and POEM™, a machine learning technology for predicting molecular properties, Ligand Design™ and Ligand Express™ will assess millions of chemical structures, providing FMC researchers with a greater volume of high-quality molecule predictions that are specific to the pesticidal target of interest.  A similar AI-augmented approach to discovery research has been used successfully for years in industries that require extensive data analysis, significant investments and lengthy development timelines, such as pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

"We are excited to partner with FMC scientists in their quest to innovate novel molecules that control pests and diseases in agriculture," says Naheed Kurji, cofounder, president and CEO of Cyclica. "Ligand Design™ and Ligand Express™ have been instrumental in the design and screening of new medicines, and we look forward to applying those learnings in support of FMC's global discovery research programs."

FMC's R&D team of more than 800 scientists and associates are guiding one of the most robust discovery and development pipelines in the agricultural industry at 22 innovation centers and field stations around the world. The company's global R&D is headquartered at the FMC Stine Research Center in Newark, Delaware, and its biologicals research is conducted at the FMC European Innovation Center in Hørsholm, Denmark.

Terms of the collaboration with Cyclica are not disclosed.

About FMC

FMC Corporation, an agricultural sciences company, provides innovative solutions to growers around the world with a robust product portfolio fueled by a market-driven discovery and development pipeline in crop protection, plant health, and professional pest and turf management. This powerful combination of advanced technologies includes leading insect control products based on Rynaxypyr® and Cyazypyr® active ingredients; Authority®, Boral®, Centium®, Command® and Gamit® branded herbicides; Talstar® and Hero® branded insecticides; and flutriafol-based fungicides. The FMC portfolio also includes biologicals such as Quartzo® and Presence® bionematicides. FMC Corporation employs approximately 6,400 employees around the globe. To learn more, please visit

FMC, the FMC logo, Rynaxypyr, Cyazypyr, Authority, Boral, Centium, Command, Gamit, Talstar, Hero, Quartzo and Presence are trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. Always read and follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions for use. Products listed here may not be registered for sale or use in all states, countries or jurisdictions. Hero® insecticide is a restricted use pesticide in the United States.

About Cyclica Inc.
Cyclica is the first company to approach polypharmacology with a structure-based, AI-augmented in silico discovery platform, centered on Ligand Design and Ligand Express. Powered by MatchMaker™, a proprietary deep learning proteome screening technology, and POEM™, an innovative supervised learning technology for predicting molecular properties, Cyclica's platform is suited uniquely to the design of novel, chemical matter by simultaneously prioritizing compounds based on their on- and off-target polypharmacological profiles as well as their developmental properties. With a world-class team that has deep roots in the industry, a first-in-class platform, and an innovative decentralized partnership model, Cyclica is creating medicines with greater precision for unmet patient needs.

Statement under the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:  This release contains forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current views and assumptions regarding future events, future business conditions and the outlook for the company based on currently available information. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement. These factors include, among other things, the risk factors and other cautionary statements included within FMC's 2019 Form 10-K filed with the SEC as well as other SEC filings and public communications. FMC cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the above cautionary statement. FMC undertakes no obligation, and specifically disclaims any duty, to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date on which they were made, except as otherwise required by law.

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SOURCE FMC Corporation