AI develops cancer treatment in 30 days, predicts survival rate

Artificial Intelligence has developed a treatment for cancer in just 30 days and can predict a patient’s survival rate.

In a new 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) with an AI drug discovery platform called Pharma.AI.

HCC is the most common type of liver cancer and occurs when a tumor grows on the liver, according to Cleveland Clinic

Researchers applied AlphaFold, an AI-powered protein structure database, to Pharma.AI to uncover a novel target — a previously unknown treatment pathway — for cancer and developed a “novel hit molecule” that could bind to that target without aid.

The creation of the potential drug was accomplished in just 30 days from the selection of the target and after synthesizing just seven compounds.

After a second round of generating compounds, they discovered a more potent hit molecule — but any potential drug would need to go through clinical trials before widespread use.

“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,” Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, said in a statement.

AI is rapidly changing the way drugs and medicine are discovered and developed, as the traditional method of trial and error is slow, expensive and limits the scope of exploration.

“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 2022, AlphaFold made a huge breakthrough in both AI and structural biology by predicting protein structure for the whole human genome.

“AlphaFold broke new scientific ground in predicting the structure of all proteins in the human body,” co-author Feng Ren, chief scientific officer and co-CEO of Insilico Medicine, said. 

“At Insilico Medicine, we saw that as an incredible opportunity to take these structures and apply them to our end-to-end AI platform in order to generate novel therapeutics to tackle diseases with high unmet need. This paper is an important first step in that direction.”

Researchers also explained how different AI information can revolutionize health care.

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