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AI-created drug starts clinical trials

 1 min | By Antony David
 |  | Feb 7th 2020

Artificial intelligence technology has been employed to dramatically accelerate the development of a drug designed to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Oxford-based Exscientia has collaborated with Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma to produce a new drug for OCD. In the exploratory research phase, the application of Exscientia’s Centaur Chemist™  AI platform helped reduce the development time from what would normally take more than four years, to just 12 months.

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Scientia’s chief executive, Professor Andrew Hopkins, explained the development represented a major breakthrough: “We believe that this entry of DSP-1181, created using AI, into clinical studies is a key milestone in drug discovery.”

The Centaur Chemist™ platform works by converting drug discovery into a set of formalised steps and a system that learns from human experts. The rules of drug discovery are very complex and not easily described as a ready set of moves. Through repetition and the examples of human researchers, the algorithms become increasingly efficient. This enables breakthrough productivity gains, as well as new approaches to improve drug efficacy. Novel compounds are automatically designed and prioritised for synthesis by its AI systems, which rapidly evolve compounds towards the desired candidate criteria for clinical development.

About the Author

Antony David

A chemistry graduate, Antony David, spent most of his career using and then making equipment for the music and broadcast industries. He was managing director of Oxford-based electronics and software company, Solid State Logic.

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