AI-Designed Drug Ready for Human Trials

K. C. Sabreena Basheer 27 Jun, 2023 • 4 min read

A biotech company, Insilico Medicine, backed by Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group and private equity giant Warburg Pincus, has started one of the first mid-stage human trials of a drug discovered and designed entirely by artificial intelligence (AI). Insilico uses generative AI to select novel drug targets and design molecules that can target specific diseases. This represents a significant milestone for the medical industry. Here’s all you need to know about these clinical trials and their impact on the healthcare industry.

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The First AI-Designed Drug Enters Phase 2 Clinical Trial

Insilico has commenced mid-stage human trials for a drug known as INS018_055, marking a significant achievement. This makes it the first drug entirely discovered and designed by artificial intelligence to enter a phase-2 clinical trial. This remarkable milestone represents a crucial step in drug development, opening doors to new possibilities in the pharmaceutical industry.

A biotech company, Insilico Medicine, has started human trials of a drug discovered and designed entirely by artificial intelligence (AI).

A Pivotal Moment for Insilico and the Entire AI Industry

Insilico, the biotech company behind this breakthrough drug, is now facing a moment of truth. According to its CEO, Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, this trial is a test for Insilico and a critical examination of AI’s potential for the entire pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Zhavoronkov boldly claims that Insilico can double large pharmaceutical companies’ productivity, signaling AI’s transformative power in drug discovery.

Also Read: Machine Learning & AI for Healthcare in 2023

The Emergence of AI-Powered Biotech Companies

Insilico belongs to a new wave of biotech companies that have raised billions of dollars intending to revolutionize drug development by applying AI tools. These companies are capitalizing on an estimated $50 billion market opportunity for AI in the pharmaceutical sector, as reported by Morgan Stanley. Insilico’s drug trial is a testament to the potential of artificial intelligence in shaping the future of medicine.

Also Read: Bridging the Gap: Drug Discovery and AI

Insilico’s AI Platforms: Cutting Costs and Reducing Time

Dr. Zhavoronkov asserts that their platforms could halve the time it takes to discover drugs and substantially reduce the average cost of bringing therapies to market, estimated at $2.3 billion per therapy by Deloitte. Insilico’s cutting-edge platforms utilize generative AI to rapidly identify novel drug targets within the body and design molecules that effectively combat specific diseases. This ability to process vast amounts of data expedites the drug discovery process, potentially saving years in pre-clinical discovery. Although the time saved during clinical development is limited, AI’s improved chemistry and target selection significantly enhance the probability of drug success.

The use of AI reduces the cost and time taken in drug development.

Strategic Partnerships with Major Pharmaceutical Companies

Insilico’s work in AI-driven drug development has not gone unnoticed. Established pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi, Fosun, and Johnson & Johnson have recognized the potential of Insilico’s AI platforms and have forged strategic partnerships. These collaborations enable the integration of Insilico’s advanced technology into the drug discovery pipelines of these industry leaders, further validating the potential of AI in revolutionizing pharmaceutical research and development.

Unleashing the Power of AI: Rapid Identification of Drug Targets

The true strength of artificial intelligence in drug discovery lies in its ability to swiftly identify disease-associated proteins within the body and identify molecules that can be transformed into effective medicines. With the capacity to process vast amounts of data, AI platforms provide invaluable support in identifying drug targets, enabling researchers to develop innovative solutions more efficiently.

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The Rise of AI in Drug Development: Promising Innovations

Insilico is not the only biotech company embracing the potential of AI. Several other companies, including Exscientia, Verge Genomics, and Recursion Pharmaceuticals, have recently announced drugs that have progressed to clinical trials thanks to the aid of AI and machine learning tools. These breakthroughs highlight AI’s transformative impact on drug development and signify a shift towards a more efficient and accelerated research process.

Also Read: How to Grow Younger Using AI: New Anti-Aging Drug Discovered

Biotech companies are heavily investing in AI platforms for drug development.

Enhancing Drug Success Rates: AI’s Role in Target Selection

Insilico’s AI technology accelerates drug discovery and improves the likelihood of drug success. By employing advanced chemistry and target selection techniques, AI platforms optimize the characteristics of drug candidates. This enhances their efficacy and minimizes the probability of failure. Moreover, AI is employed in recruiting patients more likely to respond positively to the therapy. This further increases the chances of successful clinical outcomes.

Also Read: Transforming Healthcare: Project-based Deep Learning-Powered Survival Prediction

AI-Discovered Drugs: Balancing Potential and Skepticism

AI-discovered drugs and the platforms responsible for their creation hold great promise. However, it is important to acknowledge that this does not guarantee success. Critics argue that the potential of AI in drug development may be overhyped. They cite instances, including the recent failure of a drug candidate developed by Benevolent AI, which resulted in significant layoffs. Nonetheless, the work of Insilico & other AI-driven biotech companies signals an exciting future for integrating AI into the pharmaceutical industry.

People still tend to prefer drugs developed by humans.

Our Say

The initiation of mid-stage human trials for the AI-discovered & AI-designed drug by Insilico represents a monumental achievement in drug development. AI-powered biotech companies are on the brink of transforming how we discover, design, and develop life-saving medications. As technology continues to evolve, it is crucial to balance the potential of artificial intelligence with a critical eye. We must, therefore, ensure that such advancements are met with rigorous scientific scrutiny.

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