Global drug development is a fairly conservative process, not very flexible and greatly stretched over time. But artificial intelligence got here too. The changes are impressive. Acceleration is becoming a major trend in global pharmacology.
Even before the advent of COVID-19, analysts had predicted that new technologies would help five times reduce the time of drug development. And now the world is facing a serious challenge — the coronavirus pandemic. The most advanced technologies have been thrown into the fight against it. The first samples of the vaccine and means of supporting infected people created with the help of artificial intelligence are already undergoing clinical trials.
During the pandemic, several startups joined in the development of COVID-19 drugs. BenevolentAI is successfully using artificial intelligence to accelerate drug development. The algorithms created by the programmers took several hours to determine baricitinib as a drug that can fight the respiratory and other complications of COVID-19. Until a vaccine is invented, baricitinib can provide patients with effective support.
Other companies have gone their own way. They use artificial intelligence to find a new molecule. These are, for example, Deargen (South Korea), InSilico Medicine (Hong Kong), Iktos (France), and Exscientia (UK). However, some scientists and companies do not believe that the drug against coronavirus will be discovered soon.
Alongside this, Gilead CEO says coronavirus drug “remdesivir” could reach patients within days.
However, it is too early to go on a victory lap. Artificial intelligence helps to choose the most suitable remedy from a huge number of existing drugs quickly. But any intelligence, even artificial, does not give 100% guarantees. That is why clinical trials are still important. After all, only they can confirm or refute the effectiveness of the drug.
More about COVID-19 Drug Development, please, find here.
And if the result is not as expected? Then we will need to start the research again. New cycle. New hopes. In any case, this cycle will not be stretched for many years, as before. Mankind has received many important discoveries through wars. The general war with COVID-19 will help the pharmaceutical industry to take a big qualitative step forward.
P. S. Do you remember how people divided their lives into periods – «before Chernobyl» and «after Chernobyl»? In the minds of many, the Chernobyl accident drew a clear boundary that divided the two eras – relatively calm and unstable. Now we are experiencing a similar period that will divide our lives into “before” and “after”. However, do not despair. An effective coronavirus drug will be discovered soon.