In A World’s 1st in Drug Discovery, AI Develops A Treatment for Cancer in 30 Days

Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a potential treatment for liver cancer using artificial intelligence

The team applied AlphaFold, an Al-powered protein structure database, to uncover a novel treatment pathway for cancer. The creation of the potential drug was accomplished in just 30 days, and the Al system can also predict a patient's survival rate.

According to the study published in the journal Chemical Science, researchers at the University of Toronto along with Insilico Medicine developed a potential treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) — the most common type of primary liver cancer — with an AI drug discovery platform called Pharma.AI, an end-to-end AI-powered drug discovery platform.

The study is being touted as the world’s first to apply a groundbreaking AI technology, AlphaFold, to drug discovery research.

The researchers included a biocomputational engine, PandaOmics, and a generative chemistry engine, Chemistry42. They discovered a novel target for HCC – a previously undiscovered treatment pathway – and developed a “novel hit molecule” that could bind to that target without the aid of an experimentally determined structure.

The scientists first used AI to scan HCC for protein “weak spots.” Once one was detected, another program designed small molecules that could target and take down the specific protein, the paper says. Researchers then tested these molecules on live cells, one of which appeared effective at slowing cancer growth.

This feat was accomplished in just 30 days from target selection and after only synthesizing seven compounds.

This paper is further evidence of the capacity for AI to transform the drug discovery process with enhanced speed, efficiency, and accuracy,” Michael Levitt, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, said. “Bringing together the predictive power of AlphaFold and the target and drug-design power of Insilico Medicine’s Pharma.AI platform, it’s possible to imagine that we’re on the cusp of a new era of AI-powered drug discovery.”

In a statementAlex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico medicine, said, "While the world was fascinated with advances in generative AI in art and language, our generative AI algorithms managed to design potent inhibitors of a target with an AlphaFold-derived structure."

Insilico Medicine is a biotechnology company based in Hong Kong and New York.

AlphaFold is an artificial intelligence program developed by DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

Last year, AlphaFold predicted protein structures for the whole human genome – a remarkable breakthrough in both AI applications and structural biology.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post
Like this content? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get latest updates.