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 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.
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.
“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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