Can AI accelerate drug R&D? J&J offers up some molecules to try it on
London-based BenevolentAI believes it has built the kind of artificial intelligence tech that will allow it to identify and develop drugs faster and better than any group of mere scientific mortals can hope for. And now J&J is handing over some experimental molecules it needs to prove it’s right.
The upstart joins a long line scrambling to apply vast amounts of computational power towards drug development. Their goal is to usher in the long-awaited “pharma 2.0” and finally bend the expensive curve of late-stage trial failure. It’s unclear how BenevolentAI’s algorithms are any better at evaluating the potential of any small-molecule than other computationally-taxing approaches developed by other groups — and it’s all driven by the data. While there’s plenty of scientific literature ripe for mining for new insight, there’s still the matter of actionable and proprietary data sitting locked away inside competitive biopharma servers.
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