AI based drug to go on trials

In a world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) based medicine trail, a drug molecule invented by AI will be used in human trials, a step towards machine learning in the medical sphere. The drug was synthesized by a British start-up called Exscientia and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.

The drug is scheduled to be used on patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To make it to the experimental stage, a new drug typically requires five years at least but this AI invented drug took only a year. Professor Andrew Hopkins – Chief executive of Exscientia said it was a key milestone in drug discovery.

The molecule – DSP-1181 was created by using algorithms. The algorithm examined potential compounds and checked these compounds against a huge database of parameters. Out of billions of decisions needed to find the right molecule, the start-up engineered a drug with the help of AI. Because the algorithm is agnostic, it can be tried and applied to a plethora of diseases.

The drug is set to enter phase one trails in Japan. Should the drug find success, more global tests will follow afterward. The company is also aiming to further the use of AI in medicine to engineering more drugs for various diseases especially for cancer and cardiovascular by the end of the year.

The year 2020 has begun with the first AI designed drug but the possibility of drugs being completely designed by AI is high. By the end of this decade, we may see an acceleration in drug discovery.


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