First Drug Created Via AI to Enter Clinical Trials, Signaling New Era for Pharma

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A growing number of pharma executives see investment in machine learning and big data as a top priority, according to a 2020 GlobalData survey.

DSP-1181, a developmental drug developed by Excsientia and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma to treat obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is expected to enter clinical trials, according to GlobalData, a market research consultancy based in the United Kingdom.  Using machine learning, an aspect of artificial intelligence (AI) utilized in Excsientia’s Centaur Chemist platform allowed developers to move from discovery through pre-clinical stages in 12 months, rather than the five years typically required, the analysts noted in a press release.

“DSP-1181 making it to clinical trials at such a rapid pace offers hope for drug developers as this speed of development could potentially translate into cost savings and a more sustainable drug pipeline,” said Bonnie Bain, PhD, global head of pharma at GlobalData in a company press release. GlobalData’s 2020 survey found that AI and big data were among the most popular technologies adopted by pharma executives (Chart). In last year’s survey, cybersecurity was the top technology target for investment.


The company’s latest survey, “The State of the Biopharmaceutical Industry – 2020,” finds that 65% of the executives who responded expected AI (which scored as the top area with 33% of respondents) and big data (seen as the top priority by 32% of respondents) to have the greatest impact on the industry in 2020. “AI and big data go hand in hand, and AI-powered by big data will be used across a spectrum of processes ranging from target identification to commercialization activities,” Bain said in the press release.

Source: Global Data