Pharma looks to AI for streamlined drug development

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Major drug companies are tapping artificial intelligence solutions to improve the drug development process, reports Reuters.

By using modern supercomputers and machine learning systems to predict how molecules will act, drugmakers can quickly identify plausible drug candidates, saving both time and money.

Merck, Sanofi and Johnson and Johnson are among the major pharmaceutical giants partnering with technology firms to bring AI to the drug discovery process. GlaxoSmithKline represents the most recent drugmaker to join the bandwagon, agreeing to a $43 million deal with the Scotland-based technology company Exscientia on June 2.

"Many large pharma companies are starting to realize the potential of this approach and how it can help improve efficiencies," Exscientia CEO Andrew Hopkins told Reuters.

Mr. Hopkins, a former Pfizer employee, said his company's AI technology could choose ideal drug candidates in about one-fourth the time and for one-fourth the cost of traditional methods.

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