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DrugBAN AI expected to reduce costs and speed up drug discovery

In a collaboration between Sheffield University and pharma giant, AstraZeneca, a new AI has been developed that could help deliver new medicines at a faster rate and lower cost. DrugBAN AI has been developed by Professor Haiping Lu and PhD student Peizhen Bai from the University’s Department of Computer Science, alongside AstraZeneca’s Dr Filip Miljković and Dr Bino John.
The research has been published in Nature Machine Intelligence. The study proved that DrugBAN AI could predict whether candidate drugs can interact with the intended target protein molecules within the human body.
AIs to predict whether drugs will reach their targets already exist, however this new AI has been developed to do this with increased accuracy while also providing extra insights to help scientists learn how the drugs will interact with their protein partners on a molecular level.
Haiping Lu, professor of machine learning (ML) at Sheffield University, commented in a statement: “We designed the AI with two primary objectives. Firstly, we want the AI to capture how drugs interact with their targets at a finer scale, as this could provide useful biological insights to help researchers understand these interactions on a molecular level. Secondly, we want the tool to be able to predict what these interactions will be with new drugs or targets to help accelerate the overall prediction process. The study we’ve published… shows our AI model does both of these.”