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Artificial Intelligence Making Medicine

Artificial Intelligence Making Medicine Artificial Intelligence Making Medicine

Artificial intelligence algorithms are being taught to generate art, human voices, and even fiction stories all on their own—why not give them a shot at building new ways to treat disease?

Atomwise, a San Francisco-based startup and Y Combinator alum, has built a system it calls AtomNet, which attempts to generate potential drugs for diseases like Ebola and multiple sclerosis, technology website Quartz reported.

The company has invited academic and non-profit researchers from around the world to detail which diseases they are trying to generate treatments for, so AtomNet can take a shot.

The academic labs will receive 72 different drugs that the neural network has found to have the highest probability of interacting with the disease, based on the molecular data it has seen.

Atomwise’s system only generates potential drugs—the compounds created by the neural network are not guaranteed to be safe, and need to go through the same drug trials and safety checks as anything else on the market. The company believes that the speed at which it can generate trial-ready drugs based on previous safe molecular interactions is what sets it apart.

Atomwise touts two projects that show the potential of AtomNet, drugs for multiple sclerosis and Ebola. The MS drug has been licensed to an undisclosed UK pharmacology firm, according to Atomwise, and the Ebola drug is being prepared for submission to a peer-reviewed publication.

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