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What Is Drug Discovery?

Drug discovery covers the whole field of the drug development process, from identifying chemical compounds that could become useful drugs to the clinical trial phase. The process is long and complicated, with every stage ripe for implementation of artificial intelligence models.


Why Is It Important to Have a Good Drug Discovery Model?

Implementation of AI drug discovery models simplifies and vastly shortens the process. Above all, a good model allows pharmaceutical companies to focus on drugs with the most promise. It also allows companies to minimize time and money spent on drugs that will later be disqualified.

What Internal Data Should I Have for a Good Drug Discovery Model?

Internal data for AI drug discovery models should contain data from all drugs previously created and marketed by the pharmaceutical company. The data should account for creation time. Further, it should record important insights from different steps in the process, including target identification, drug toxicity, clinical trials, and revenue from the drug.

What External Data is Essential for a Good Model?

Databases provide enormous amounts of information, especially biochemical, genomic, and toxicity data. The best AI model allows drug developers to easily cross-reference data from all these resources with the aforementioned internal data from previous work.

What External Data May Prove Useful for a Good Model?

Other data which could prove useful to a drug discovery model include surveys and pharma company feedback. Additionally, developers should include clinical trial data and new academic studies.

What Are the Main Challenges of the This Use Case?

AI-driven personalized medicine contains information on people’s genetic code and other intimate information. As a result, security is a major issue and the data must be secure and protected.
Finally, big data requires large amounts of computation for the AI models to work effectively. Consequently, drug developers need access to technology with high computational abilities.

Interesting Case Studies and Blogs to Look Into

Washington Times: ‘Cutting-edge science’: OCD drug designed by artificial intelligence
BenchSci: 230 Startups Using Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery

Tangible Examples of Impact

In 2018 the flu vaccine ‘turbocharger’, developed by scientists from Flinders University in Australia, went into clinical trials. The team’s press release hailed it as the first drug designed by Artificial Intelligence.

“We had to teach the AI program on a set of compounds that are known to activate the human immune system, and a set of compounds that don’t work. The job of the AI was then to work out for itself what distinguished a drug that worked from one that doesn’t,” Petrovsky said, who is also the Research Director of Australian biotechnology company Vaxine.

“We then developed another program, called the synthetic chemist which generated trillions of different chemical compounds that we then fed to SAM so that it could sift through all of these to find candidates that it thought might be good human immune drugs.”

Australian Researchers Have Just Released The World’s First AI-Developed Vaccine

Relevant datasets

IBM MarketScan Research Databases

by ibm-the-weather-company

IBM MarketScan Research Databases provides one of the oldest continually-updated collection of health claims data in the USA. Organizations use this data to prove their value to healthcare professionals, insurers, and private individuals.

The data includes drug claims, dental claims, lab results, hospital discharges, and EMR data for millions of people in the country. It also contains workplace productivity data, telling institutions how many workplaces absences they suffer and how many of their healthcare workers suffer disability due to their work. 

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