Recently, Innovate UK gave out an investment boost to support artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery efforts.
Innovate UK is a financing body created by the British government in a bid to reinforce UK technologies.
According to Laboratory News, the recipients of the extra funding include Intellegens, an artificial intelligence firm, Optibrium, a software company, and Medicines Discovery Catapult, a healthcare organization.
All these bodies have already received grants from Innovate UK to finance a £1 million or $ 1.3 million plan intended to tap into the potential of artificial intelligence (AI).
The financing will be utilized in running a project whereby the syndicate is scheduled to learn from sophisticated data patterns as well as utilize the analysis as a blueprint for experts, especially in the designing and testing of potential new drugs.
Matthew Segall, Optibrium’s chief executive officer, said: “We will apply cutting-edge deep learning methods and new data to address important challenges in drug optimization. The funding from Innovate UK is an important validation of our project team’s expertise and the impact it will have on the industry’s efficiency and productivity.”
Innovate UK makes up a section of the UK-based innovation agency dubbed ‘U.K Research and Innovation’, a non-departmental public entity financed by the UK government through a grant-in-aid.
The governmental agency self-defines its role as: “We connect businesses to the partners, customers, and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth…We fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into research and development.”
With the new financing given to the three companies, the objective is to use artificial intelligence to allow researchers to easily shift through sophisticated chemical data in the pursuit of developing new drugs more rapidly.
The drug development process is not only complex but also time-consuming, even before any of the products are considered potential candidates for clinical trial.
The three organizations including Optibrium, Intellegens and Medicines Discovery Catapult are looking forward to developing a process of offering more useful insights, particularly into how a medicine reacts with the human body.
By doing so, they hope to boost the productivity and efficiency of drug discovery.
The initial project is expected to apply deep learning techniques into the designing of a next-generation platform, which ought to better forecast the ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and toxicity) of novel drug candidates.
ADMET helps in describing the nature of a pharmaceutical compound existing within a living organism.
All the four factors influence not only the drug levels but also the kinetics of medicine exposure, especially to the body tissues.
For this reason, they impact the pharmacological activity and performance of the compound as a drug.