Virtual drug screening initiative will use AI to find treatments for pediatric cancers

The world's first and largest 10 billion-compound virtual drug screening initiative, led by San Francisco-based biotech company Atomwise and Ukrainian chemical research firm Enamine, will use artificial intelligence to discover small molecule drugs for the treatment of pediatric cancers.

The "10-to-the-10" program will pair Atomwise's virtual screening AI technology with Enamine's library of 10 billion small molecule compounds to discover new oncology drugs, with research directed and used by cancer researchers at partner universities such as the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

The initiative is expected to identify significantly more early drug candidates than other screening initiatives due to the massive number of compounds screened and the speed and accuracy of the technology used. Not only does Enamine's library include far more compounds than have been previously studied for drug discovery, but Atomwise's technology has also already proven successful in discovering molecular targets using libraries a fraction of the size of Enamine's.

"We've barely scratched the surface of what is possible — imagine what will be found when we screen a chemical library that is a thousand times larger," said Abraham Heifets, CEO and co-founder of Atomwise.

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