AI discovers drugs that could disrupt biotech and medicine


Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like ChatGPT by OpenAI have brought awareness to the general public about the power of machine learning. At the same time, a quiet AI revolution in drug discovery is advancing rapidly, which can affect both our mental and physical health – in a good way. Recently, a number of pioneering companies with new drug treatments designed by AI are in the clinical trial phase.

There are currently many small molecule drug discovery companies that were built from the ground up using AI technology. Now a group of these companies have new drugs designed by AI in the clinical research phase. These companies include Verge Genomics, Berg, BenevolentAI, InSilico Medicine, Pharos iBio and others.

The major phases of drug discovery in the United States include early drug discovery and development, preclinical research, clinical research, and regulatory approval. There are typically four phases in clinical trials according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In phase I trials, a small group is tested for the safety of the treatment, determines the dose and detects any side effects. Phase II trials are conducted with a larger group to evaluate safety and efficacy. Phase III trials are conducted with large groups of people. The final phase, phase IV, is performed after FDA approval for use and is post-marketing studies to obtain additional data on the best use of the drug as well as the risks and benefits.

In the neurodegenerative space, a number of AI-native companies are moving into new drugs. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and causes loss of muscle control. Verge Genomics recently announced the Phase I clinical trial of a new therapeutic target for ALS called VRG50635 as Converge, their AI platform, discovered. Their AI evaluated over 11.4 million data points from genetics dataset and ALS patient tissue to discover a new causative mechanism for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a new therapeutic target for inhibitors to address it.

Berg, LLC, a US-based AI biopharmaceutical company, is currently in a Phase II trial for a drug called BPM31510 in combination with Vitamin K1, radiotherapy and Temozolomide (TMZ) to treat an aggressive form of cancer that arises in the brain or spinal cord called glioblastoma and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a grade four brain tumor that arises from the glial cells.

BenevolentAI, a London-based drug discovery company (Euronext Amsterdam: BAI), recently announced that it submitted a clinical trial application to the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for its AI-discovered inhibitor drug for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and plans . to enter phase I clinical trials of BEN-8744 in the first half of 2023.

Pharos iBio Co., Ltd., a Republic of Korea-based big data and AI drug development company with subsidiaries in the US and Australia, is in Phase I of two clinical trials of PHI-101, one targeting relapsed or relapsed patients. refractory Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), and the other for patients with platinum resistance/refractory ovary, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal Cancer.

Last week, Hong Kong-based AI drug discovery company Insilico Medicine announced that its latest drug, INS018_55for the treatment of a chronic lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), has “positive top-line safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic (PK) results” from Phase I studies in a New Zealand trial of 78 healthy volunteers and has submitted the results to the FDA, according to a company announcement.

It is now only a matter of time before a drug completely designed by AI machine learning crosses the finish line and gains regulatory approval – ushering in a new era for biotech, pharma, precision medicine and life sciences in the not-so-distant future.

Copyright © 2023 Cami Rosso All rights reserved.

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