The first time in the world a drug molecule invented by artificial intelligence has been used in human trials. It is a new strategic step of technology industry into medicine.
The new medicine ( DSP-1181) was created by British start-up Exscientia and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. It will be use to treat patients having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Before using AI, it usually took 5 years for drug development. Yet AI only spends 12 months to successfully invent the medicine.
Exscienta chief executive Prof Andrew Hopkins described it as a “key milestone in drug discovery”. He stated that: “We have seen AI for diagnosing patients and for analysing patient data and scans, but this is a direct use of AI in the creation of a new medicine.”
The drug was created by using algorithms that sifted through potential compounds, checking them against a huge database of parameters. “The beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease,” he added.
Japan will be the first to have this drug trial, if successfully, there will be more global tests. The firm is already working on potential drugs for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease and hopes to have another molecule ready for clinical trials by the end of the year. Prof Hopkins also believed that by the end of the decade all new drugs could potentially be created by AI.