Daily Management Review

GSK Signs Deal To Speed Up Drug Discovery, Other Big Pharma Companies Also On Same Path


07/04/2017




GSK Signs Deal To Speed Up Drug Discovery, Other Big Pharma Companies Also On Same Path
With GlaxoSmithKline unveiling a new $43 million deal in the field, in order to improve the hit-and-miss business of finding new medicines, the world's leading drug companies are turning to artificial intelligence.
 
Also exploring the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to help streamline the drug discovery process are other pharmaceutical giants including Merck & Co, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi.
 
In order to predict how molecules will behave and how likely they are to make a useful drug, thereby saving time and money on unnecessary tests, harness modern supercomputers and machine learning systems is the aim.
 
In other high-tech areas such as the development of driverless cars and facial recognition software, AI systems already play a central role.
 
"Many large pharma companies are starting to realize the potential of this approach and how it can help improve efficiencies," said Andrew Hopkins, chief executive of privately owned Exscientia, which announced the new tie-up with GSK.
 
Using roughly one-quarter of the time and at one-quarter of the cost of traditional approaches, Exscientia's AI system could deliver drug candidates, said Hopkins, who used to work at Pfizer.
 
One of a growing number of start-ups on both sides of the Atlantic that are applying AI to drug research is the Scotland-based company, which also signed a deal with Sanofi in May. Britain's BenevolentAI and U.S. firms Berg, Numerate, twoXAR and Atomwise, are also among other companies.
 
"In pharma's eyes these companies are essentially digital biotechs that they can strike partnerships with and which help feed the pipeline," said Nooman Haque, head of life sciences at Silicon Valley Bank in London.
 
"If this technology really proves itself, you may start to see M&A with pharma, and closer integration of these AI engines into pharma R&D."
 
In order to boost R&D productivity, this is not the first time drugmakers have turned to high-tech solutions.
 
Generating mountains of leads in the early 2000s  but notably failed to solve inefficiencies in the research process was the introduction of "high throughput screening", using robots to rapidly test millions of compounds.
 
Since it is yet to demonstrate it can successfully bring a new molecule from computer screen to lab to clinic and finally to market and that is the common knowledge in the market, big pharma is treading cautiously when it comes to AI.
 
"It's still to be proven, but we definitely think we should do the experiment," said John Baldoni, GSK's head of platform technology and science.
 
By hiring some unexpected staff with appropriate computing and data handling experience - including astrophysicists, Baldoni is also ramping up in-house AI investment at the drugmaker.
 
The time taken from identifying a target for disease intervention to finding a molecule that acts against it is an average of 5.5 years today and limiting that to just one year in future is his goal
 
"That is a stretch. But as we've learnt more about what modern supercomputers can do, we've gained more confidence," Baldoni told Reuters. "We have an obligation to reduce the cost of drugs and reduce the time it takes to get medicines to patients."
 
In order to accelerate pre-clinical drug development through use of advanced computational technologies, GSK also entered a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy and National Cancer Institute earlier this year.
 
(Source:www.reuter.com) 






Science & Technology

How China became a pioneer of the solar industry

CNBC: Intel leaves the wearable gadgets market

Oculus Rift falls in price…again

Ukraine Police Official Says Likely Cover For Malware Installation Was Global Cyber Attack: Reuters

Researchers See 'Wannacry' Link As Another Cyber Attack Sweeps Globe

AEON and IBM to create a blockchain platform

Toyota & Cartivator Are Building Flying Cars To Light Up The Olympic Flame Of 2020

Stock trading computers are not a future anymore

Temper Technology With Humanity - Apple's Cook Tells MIT Graduates

As Spying And Crime Tools Mix, Blame Game For Cyber Attacks Grows Murkier

World Politics

World & Politics

Its South China Sea Territory Being Protected By Indonesia From 'Foreign' Threats

A Swarm-Like Attack From North Korea Could ‘Overwhelm’ South Korea's THAAD Missile Shield

Powerty in Italy tripled in 10 years

Hackers steal a businessman's reputation in Sweden

PWM reveals best citizenship-by-investment programs

Austria gathers troops to shelter itself against refugees

In Thirty Years Human Beings Will Work Only 'Four Hour A Day', Predicts Jack Ma

Trump to speak for America's dominance in the energy sector