BenevolentAI has announced a collaboration with Parkinson’s UK and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust in an attempt to find new treatments for the disease.

The charities have been awarded research support from the British artificial intelligence (AI) company following a competition with the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

The BenevolentAI award provides health charities with AI driven research and development.

Parkinson’s UK and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) will be granted access to BenevolentAI’s data to conduct research into Parkinson’s, with the aim of finding new treatments that can be deployed rapidly to patients.

Parkinson’s UK and CPT will be able to use the BenevolentAI platform to “reason, deduce and suggest entirely new treatments,” the AI firm claimed.

Under the partnership, Parkinson’s UK and CPT aim to identify two entirely new ways of treating Parkinson’s and “at least three” pre-existing medicines that can be “repurposed” to address the disease.

Dr. Richard Wyse, director of research and development at The Cure Parkinson’s Trust, said: “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to work with the skilled team at BenevolentAI and Parkinson’s UK to identify potential new treatments for Parkinson’s.

“At CPT we are dedicated to bringing new disease modifying treatments – including known drugs as well as novel compounds – into clinical trials as we leave no stone unturned in our hunt to find ways to slow, stop and reverse Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s affects some 145,000 people in the UK, a figure that is predicated to double over the next 50 years as life expectancy increases.

Dr. Jackie Hunter, CEO of BenevolentBio, said: “If we are going to be able to make a breakthrough in Parkinson’s we’re going to need to take a different approach. Through this collaboration, we’re doing that”.

In December, Parkinson’s UK launched a library of mobile apps aimed at supporting people living with the disease

Professor David Dexter, the charity’s deputy director of research, said: “We’re thrilled that our application was successful and are excited to see what this partnership will produce. People with Parkinson’s have waited too long for better treatments and repurposing existing drugs holds huge potential to accelerate our work towards a time when no one fears Parkinson’s.”