Lilly inks new AI pact, tackling obesity this time.

In its latest push into artificial intelligence, Eli Lilly and Co. has signed a deal with California-based biotech Fauna Bio to discover new obesity targets in humans. Under the terms of the deal, Fauna Bio will give Lilly access to its AI platform, Convergence, to support preclinical drug discovery efforts in obesity. Lilly is set to pay Fauna Bio an upfront payment and equity investment, and Fauna Bio is eligible to receive up to $494 million in milestone payments and royalties on product sales. Lilly recently launched an obesity drug called Zepbound, and the company is eager to find more approaches for treating obesity.

Fauna Bio’s AI platform analyzes data collected from the “protective adaptations of hibernation biology” to identify drug targets for humans. The platform uses genomic analyses across 452 mammal species, including 65 hibernators, and has collected over 22 billion sequence reads. Lilly is one of many drugmakers moving aggressively into AI for drug discovery and development. The company has previously signed deals with Atomwise, Verge Genomics, and XtalPi Inc. for various drug discovery efforts.