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Life Sciences Driven by Artificial Intelligence
With the extensive and risky drug development lifecycle, it takes close to a decade or more to develop an effective drug. Moreover, only 12 percent gain approval in clinical trials. As the technology has taken over almost every industry, life science places its bet on artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies reduce the time spent on R&D for new drugs.
With time, several blue-sky thinkers and angel investors have placed their money on the AI-based life science startups. AI in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry is presently deciphering the drug discovery phase. With the involvement of AI, discovering drugs can enter a new paradigm which can result in huge cost savings.
AI can find its application in the various phases of discovery and development of drugs, ranging from synthesizing and designing drugs organically to molecular design automation. It can also play a role in toxicity prediction prior to clinical trials and personalized medications.
As an example, a California-based startup manages to deploy convolutional neural networks in order to predict how small molecules can bind to proteins. This technology has accelerated the process of drug discovery. Another biopharmaceutical organization that holds AI at its core offers a drug discovery platform with predictive technology. While some startups have made it possible to use GANs (generative adversarial networks) for innovative molecule drug discovery and aging research, others have been able to deploy AI throughout the entire R&D, not just in drug discovery.
Recently a research-based from Stanford could conceptualize and design a methodology of drug discovery that can reduce the time and data needed in identifying newer drugs, through one-time learning. In MIT, a consortium named ‘Machine Learning for Pharmaceutical Discovery and Synthesis’ was formed while collaborating with organizations that are playing it big in the industry.
The presence of AI has made the current era the most opportune for biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations to reap immense innovations. U.S. based organizations spend over $75 billion each year only for R&D. While startups and large enterprise are investing a significant amount of time and money into technological solutions pertaining to AI, many research and studies are underway to understand and unveil other means to reduce the time taken for drug development.