FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: February 23, 2022
Drug companies invest in R&D-wide artificial intelligence
“Sold on the New Machine”
Chemical & Engineering News
Although artificial intelligence (AI) hasn’t yet produced a drug from scratch, pharmaceutical companies are investing big to develop their own technologies and partner with AI platform developers. According to a feature article in Chemical & Engineering News, an independent news outlet of the American Chemical Society, some companies are committing to R&D-wide AI for support along the entire continuum of drug discovery, from identifying targets to designing drugs to analyzing clinical trials.
Recently, major pharmaceutical companies, including Roche and Sanofi, have made multi-billion dollar deals with AI technology developers. But the approach has already been used for several years by big companies in the form of in-house technology and lower-stakes partnerships, mostly for specific projects, writes Senior Editor Rick Mullin. Now, pharmaceutical firms are working toward end-to-end AI coverage that spans biology (target discovery and disease modeling), chemistry (virtual screening, retrosynthesis and small molecule generation) and clinical development (patient stratification, clinical trial design and prediction of trial outcomes). The goal is to use machine learning to analyze vast stores of data, developing models that evolve and improve as the data are processed.
However, most experts agree that a fully functional end-to-end approach is still a ways off. Much AI has focused on chemistry, whereas biology is a far more complex, difficult-to-predict field. Some AI technology company executives question the wisdom of start-to-finish machine learning, choosing to focus instead on core areas. And skeptics are still awaiting the ultimate breakthrough: the approval of a drug discovered and developed by AI. But pharmaceutical companies remain hopeful that the approach could help speed the drug development process and lower the cost of bringing a new medicine market, which currently requires 12 years and $1 billion, on average.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.