Pharma R&D is crying out for disruption – is AI the answer?

Andrew McConaghie

How are Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data and genomics coming together to revolutionise drug discovery and development? pharmaphorum’s Andrew McConaghie considers the question in his feature article in Deep Dive: Digital II.

While the giants of the global pharmaceutical industry and their profits remain in rude health, their business models are, in fact, living on borrowed time.

That’s because conventional pharma R&D is experiencing a continuing downward trend in its productivity, with the returns on the many billions the industry spends every year diminishing rapidly.

One of the fundamental issues underlying this problem is the very high failure rate in drug discovery, where 95% of compounds fail.

However the last few years have seen the emergence of a range of new technologies, which promise to revolutionise R&D, making it far more rational and efficient.

The application of AI has exploded, and ‘machine learning’ technology is already being used in everyday life, setting prices on Amazon and recommending music to users of Spotify, for example.

Soon AI will be enabling driverless cars to become commonplace on our roads and, indeed, the reach of the technology is such that it threatens a great many jobs currently carried out by humans.

So what about drug discovery and development? Read the full article here.

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