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AI to Design Drugs in the Near Future, Says Google DeepMind CEO


Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind, predicts that artificial intelligence (AI) could revolutionise drug discovery by designing drugs directly in clinics within the next few years.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Hassabis emphasised the significant impact AI will have on drug development.

Deepmind, bought by Google in 2014, is an AI research lab and the creator of a system called Alphafold that can predict protein structures, potentially accelerating drug discovery.

This breakthrough technology has the potential to expedite drug discovery processes by identifying protein structures and enabling the precise targeting of drug compounds.

Hassabis also founded Isomorphic Labs in 2021, a London-based drug discovery company utilising AI to generate chemical compounds that specifically target proteins, minimizing side effects. Isomorphic’s approach aims to drastically reduce the time required for drug design, potentially shortening the process from years to mere months.

Recent partnerships between Isomorphic and major pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly and Novartis, with deals valued at up to $3 billion, underscore the growing significance of AI in revolutionising the pharmaceutical industry.

Health tech companies like Nuclera are also leveraging AI to accelerate drug discovery processes. Nuclera’s technology enables rapid identification of proteins necessary for developing new medicines and vaccines, significantly shortening the traditionally lengthy drug discovery timeline.

The increasing adoption of AI in healthcare reflects its immense potential in disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment. With nearly 4,500 health tech companies in the UK alone, responsible AI use holds the key to transforming the healthcare landscape and addressing critical medical challenges.

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