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AI identifies powerful new antibiotic

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"Researchers in the US have used artificial intelligence (AI) to discover a powerful new type of antibiotic capable of killing drug-resistant bacteria.

"Scientists at MIT trained a machine learning algorithm to analyse the molecular structures of chemical compounds and pick out potential antibiotics.

"The deep learning model was designed to identify compounds capable of killing bacteria using different mechanisms to those of existing drugs."

Full monty at Digital Health dot net: https://www.digitalhealth.net/2020/02/ai-identifies-powerful-new-antibiotic-that-can-kill-drug-resistant-bacteria/


"From the resulting hits, the researchers selected about 100 candidates for physical testing. One of these — a molecule being investigated as a diabetes treatment — turned out to be a potent antibiotic, which they called halicin after HAL, the intelligent computer in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"In tests in mice, this molecule was active against a wide spectrum of pathogens, including a strain of Clostridioides difficile and one of Acinetobacter baumannii that is ‘pan-resistant’ and against which new antibiotics are urgently required."

Full monty at Nature dot com: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00018-3

Edited by Eldorado
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Well, there’s another win for the machines.  In this case, one that’s good for us.

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Japanese pharma tech company Exscientia seems to be some steps ahead already:


First AI-created Drug Enters Human Clinical Trial

On average, drug discovery and development of a single pharmaceutical takes 4.5 to 5 years, with upward of 10 years considered common. But British start-up Exscientia and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma have turned this on its head by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the timeline to less than one year—and that AI-created drug is now entering a Phase I human clinical trial.

DSP-1181, a long-acting, potent serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonist, is intended for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In Japan, approximately 1 million people suffer from OCD, while the disorder affects 3 million persons in the United States.

During development, Exscientia applied its Centaur Chemist Artificial Intelligence platform, which has generated nearly 100 billion novel compounds through evolutionary design. DSP-1181 was created using algorithms that sifted through potential compounds, checking them against a huge database of parameters.

“We believe that this entry of DSP-1181, created using AI, into clinical studies is a key milestone in drug discovery,” Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia, said in a release. "This project’s rapid success was through strong alignment of the integrated knowledge and experiences in chemistry and pharmacology on monoamine GPCR drug discovery at Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma with our AI technologies."


I`m sure a combination of uHTS systems and AI will increase the number of discoveries of new active ingredients in an exponential fashion. Hell, we live in fascinating times.

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