An enormous figure looms over scientists searching for new drugs: the estimated US$2.6-billion price tag of developing a treatment. A lot of that effectively goes down the drain, because it includes money spent on the nine out of ten candidate therapies that fail somewhere between phase I trials and regulatory approval. Few people in the field doubt the need to do things differently.
Leading biopharmaceutical companies believe a solution is at hand. Pfizer is using IBM Watson, a system that uses machine learning, to power its search for immuno-oncology drugs. Sanofi has signed a deal to use UK start-up Exscientia’s artificial-intelligence (AI) platform to hunt for metabolic-disease therapies, and Roche subsidiary Genentech is using an AI system from GNS Healthcare in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to help drive the multinational company’s search for cancer treatments. Most sizeable biopharma players have similar collaborations or internal programmes.
Exscientia is at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence-driven drug discovery and design. As at 30th June 2016, Frontier IP Group Plc (LON:FIPP) have a 5% holding in Exscientia. Frontier IP Group, through its subsidiaries, engages in assisting universities, research institutions, and companies in the commercialization and exploitation of their intellectual property (IP) in the United Kingdom.