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  • Writer's pictureEscalate Life Sciences

For The First Time Ever, A Drug Developed By AI Will Be Tested In Human Trials

Binary code symbols are seen on a laptop screen in this photo illustration on October 15, 2018 in ... [+] NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

In a world-first, a medicine developed by artificial intelligence may be used to treat patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. The news is remarkable and hints that in the future, AI may help drug development become faster and more efficient than ever before.

The first non-man made drug molecule, DSP-1181, has now entered Phase 1 clinical trials, European Pharmaceutical Review reported. The molecule is a long-acting potent serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist and was developed using AI that was the product of a partnership between Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Exscientia in the UK. The compound was developed in a remarkable time, with AI able to complete in 12 months what typically takes five years.

“We are very excited about the results of the joint research that resulted in the development of candidate compounds in a very short time,” said Toru Kimura, Senior Executive Officer and Senior Executive Research Director of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. “We will continue to work hard to make this clinical study success so that it may deliver new benefits to patients as soon as possible.”

The drug was created by using algorithms, which AI was able to sift through faster than any human could.

"There are billions of decisions needed to find the right molecules and it is a huge decision to precise engineer a drug," Exscienta chief executive Prof Andrew Hopkins told the BBC. "But the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease," he added.

This is not the first time that AI has played a hand in medicine, as increasing research shows AI’s ability to accurately diagnose disease, sometimes even better than doctors. For example, in the case of breast cancer diagnoses, a publication in the journal Nature showed that a computer model using an algorithm was more successful than radiologists reading mammograms, the BBC reported. The study concluded that the AI was as good as the current system, which uses two doctors to reach a single mammogram, but better than a single doctor. The AI also had fewer false negatives than the doctors, which is important as undiagnosed cancer is serious.

Written by: Dana Dovey (Contributor)

Published on: Feb 11, 2020, 05:50pm



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