The first drug developed using artificial intelligence (AI) is moving forward with human trials, ushering in a new era of medical research and development.
The drug, DSP-1181, is designed to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and was created in a joint venture between the UK’s Exscientia and Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. Most significantly, while most drugs take five years to go to trial, DSP-1181 made it in just 12 months.
AI was directly responsible for the short development time, according to Exscienta chief executive, Professor Andrew Hopkins. He said the new drug was created using algorithms that AI was able to sift much faster than a human, comparing those algorithms of potential compounds to a database of parameters.
“There are billions of decisions needed to find the right molecules and it is a huge decision to precisely engineer a drug,” Professor Hopkins told the BBC.
“But the beauty of the algorithm is that they are agnostic, so can be applied to any disease,” he added.
While AI is increasingly being used in medicine, and specifically in diagnostic medicine, this is the first time a drug it was heavily involved in creating has made it to clinical trials. Needless to say, it won’t be the last.