Mars is enabled to use PIPA’s AI platform LEAP to advance the discovery efforts, and design new food, beverage and dietary supplement products


LEAP combines AI and bioinformatics. (Credit: PRNewswire/ PIPA LLC)

US-based artificial intelligence (AI) company Process Integration and Predictive Analytics (PIPA) has entered into a multi-year agreement with food products manufacturer Mars to advance the discovery of new, plant-based ingredients.

PIPA will leverage its biomedical databases and innovation pipelines to help Mars design new food, beverage and dietary supplement products.

Mars can use PIPA’s AI platform LEAP to advance the discovery, replacing traditional ingredient-identification methods of randomised, high-throughput screening.

LEAP is said to combine advanced AI and bioinformatics to integrate biomedical databases, scientific publications, clinical trials and omics datasets.

The AI platform underlines relations between molecular and food-related things with microbes and diseases and predicts connections that can help new product development.

PIPA founder Dr Ilias Tagkopoulos said: “The next decade we will witness a paradigm shift in the way we understand food, its effect to our health and well-being.

“The trifecta of mapping the molecular atlas of food, leveraging state-of-the-art computational methods that learn from data and nurturing a vibrant ecosystem that translates discoveries to practice, creates the perfect storm for an unprecedented disruption and brings us one step closer to the Hippocratic “let food be thy medicine”.”

The new partnership follows the completion of several AI-driven R&D engagements in human and pet health, including a demonstration of predicting disease risk using veterinary health data.

Based on the discovery work, PIPA has developed a model that helped Mars to develop the RENALTECH diagnostic tool that predicts kidney disease in cats.

The collaboration underlines Mars and PIPA’s common objective of promoting the health and wellbeing of people and pets through better health and nutrition.

The two companies intend to roll out LEAP platform to science, technology and innovation teams at Mars over the coming two years.

Mars innovation, science and technology VP Nici Bush said: “PIPA is an important and valuable research collaborator for Mars. Their science and technology strengths will translate into business impact, opening doors for Mars and the wider food industry.”

Mars Advanced Research Institute (MARI) vice president Abigail Stevenson said: “PIPA’s capabilities are accelerating the development of MARI initiatives to help spark new discoveries that could lead to new products and services where Mars can improve the lives of people and their pets.”