Artificial intelligence discovers new life-changing drug and human trials have started already

ARTIFICIAL intelligence has discovered a new life-changing drug and human trials are already underway.

The biotech company behind the breakthrough has dosed its first patient with an AI-developed treatment for ALS patients.

Alice Zhang, 33, is the founder of Verge Genomics, a biotech company that used AI to develop an ALS treatment

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Alice Zhang, 33, is the founder of Verge Genomics, a biotech company that used AI to develop an ALS treatmentCredit: Twitter/AliceXinliZhang
One of the first clinical trials in humans involving a drug discovered by artificial intelligence is now underway

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One of the first clinical trials in humans involving a drug discovered by artificial intelligence is now underwayCredit: Getty

Alice Zhang, 33, is the founder of Verge Genomics and a former neuroscience doctoral student at University of California.

Zhang said that her company’s novel therapy named VRG50635 was discovered after artificial intelligence analyzed a vast database of brain tissue.

The drug targets ALS, a neurodegenerative disease that has no known cure.

Financial Times reports that AI platforms can quickly process data to single out drug targets, or proteins that coordinate with diseases.

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This cuts down on the drug approval process, development costs, and failure rates.

For example, Zhang used a database of human tissue from the brains and spinal cords of ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s patients to develop the ALS drug.

There is a $50billion industry for these medicines.

In the past, 50 ALS trials have failed, and only three made it to the clinical stage.

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The ALS drug took about four years to develop, Zhang said, which is much shorter than normal.

Her San Francisco-based company is one of the latest in a growing group of companies using AI for medical reasons.

“Hypothesis are usually sourced from academic discoveries or publications and tested in a sequential way, mostly in animals, mice or even cell models to predict which of these drugs would actually work in humans,” said Zhang.

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“Hundreds of millions of dollars later, you are entering clinical trials and, unsurprisingly, the drug fails.

“We are saying why not start in humans from day one, using a data driven approach if we want to succeed in humans?”

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