Digital News

AI finds liver cancer drug candidate in only 30 days

With most drug discovery and development processes taking years, if not decades, a team of scientists have broken records with their new AI which has found a novel drug candidate for liver cancer in only 30 days.
Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality, with over 830,000 deaths worldwide in 2020, according to the WHO, so this breakthrough is highly significant.
The discovery may mark the beginning of a new era in drug discovery, with potential to renew research processes within the biotech, pharma, healthcare and life sciences industries. The research was recently published in Chemical Science.
The researchers used AI to identify the best 20 targets using ten data sets of data around hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer. The targets were filtered for safety, tissue specificity, accessibility by biologics, small molecule accessibility and novelty. Following this process, cyclin-dependent kinase 20 (CDK20) was selected as the researchers’ initial target.
Alex Zharvoronkov, senior author on the study, founder and chief executive officer at Insilico Medicine, commented: “In 2022, Insilico nominated nine preclinical candidates out of its AI engine, eight for internal and one for a partner. If you compare this total with any big pharmaceutical company’s performance, it is very impressive since it is a comparable number, which comes at a tiny fraction of the cost. Many of these are novel targets and some are challenging targets demonstrating that the generative AI can now perform well in both biology and chemistry. We also got the top line data from the first AI-discovered and AI-designed antifibrotic.”