AI + new drugs may become clinical "hard standards", and "Medicine" launches CRO + AI to accelerate the development of new drugs

AI + new drugs may become clinical “hard standards”, and “Medicine” launches CRO + AI to accelerate the development of new drugs

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As the strongest social rigid demand, disease treatment supports the long-term trend of biopharmaceuticals. Counting the development nodes of my country’s pharmaceutical industry, the country’s policies to encourage drug innovation, the return of overseas talents, the opening of Hong Kong stocks to unprofitable biopharmaceutical companies in 2018, the opening of the Science and Technology Innovation Board in 2019, the wave of IPOs of a large number of companies after the new crown epidemic, and innovative drugs continue to stand At the top of the tuyere.

In the course of industry development, AI is driving the innovative medicine industry, and this underlying technology may even subvert the pharmaceutical industry in the future.

As the first CRO stock on the Sci-tech Innovation Board, “Medicine Biomedicine” is an enterprise that paid attention to artificial intelligence technology earlier in the industry. The company is working on “CRO+AI” to accelerate the process of new drug research and development. Professor Peng Shuangqing, chief scientific officer of Medicilon, believes that the current industry is facing the challenge of reducing costs, increasing speed, and increasing efficiency.

36氪 recently visited the core team of Medicilon Biopharmaceuticals at the closed-door Medicilon seminar “New Drugs + AI Innovation Forum”, and realized that AI+ new drugs have become more and more rigid in the industry, and may even become drugs in the clinic in the future. “Hard standards.” Nobel laureate Michael Levitt, academician Rao Zihe, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, academician Chen Kaixian of the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dr. Jia Li, academician of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, and AI pharmaceutical company British Silicon Intelligence also shared their industry views on the scene.

According to the major science and technology project of “Major New Drug Creation”, the policy area has been promoting the development of new drugs to target 10 major diseases such as malignant tumors in 2008. Since then, the industry has taken a historical shift from generic drugs to innovative drugs.

Academician Chen Kaixian from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences/Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine shared that my country’s new drug research and development speed is increasing. In 2020, CDE will accept 828 domestic Class 1 new drug registration applications, of which clinical applications have increased by 55% year-on-year; 727 cases have been approved, an increase of 114% year-on-year ; 43 listing applications, a year-on-year increase of 72%. From 2008 to 2018, the state approved a total of 41 Class 1 new drugs, the speed of which has been increasing year by year, of which the speed has been increasing in the past three years (12 in 2019, 15 in 2020).

From a global perspective, China will account for 13.9% of the global R&D pipeline in 2020, and has firmly stood at the forefront of the second echelon, higher than many European countries. In this context, how to use artificial intelligence to accelerate medical research and development has become the next breakthrough.

As a drug R&D outsourcing service company (CRO) in the industry, Medicilon’s plan is to introduce AI into the CRO industry and propose a “CRO+AI” plan, considering the limitations of the CRO industry chain, and the entry of AI can eliminate maladies Eliminate fraud. Dr. Ma Xingquan, vice president of Medicilon’s chemical department, took PROTAC drugs as an example. The discovery of target protein ligands and E3 linker enzyme ligands are existing challenges in the industry, and AI provides new ideas for solving these challenges. This is a leading strategy in the CRO industry.

Medicilon’s services cover the entire process of pre-clinical new drug research, including drug discovery, pharmaceutical research, and pre-clinical research, covering protein target verification, structural biology, chemical synthesis, compound activity screening and optimization, and API and preparation processes Research, quality standard and stability research, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, toxicological safety evaluation research and IND registration application, etc.

Looking at the characteristics of Medicilon in the CRO industry horizontally, compared with WuXi AppTec and Kanglong Chemical, Medicilon’s business covers the development services of large molecules at the same time. Compared with Zhaoyan New Drug, Medicilon has a more comprehensive pre-clinical business field. Compared with Quantum Biology, Medicilon’s business mainly focuses on the pre-clinical stage.

The information comes from Medicilon’s announcement, and the picture comes from CITIC Construction Investment

“As an AI pharmaceutical research and development company, I think the innovation of the company’s internal pipeline is very important. British Silicon has already had the success of PCC (the world’s first new target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis discovered entirely driven by AI and targeted at this target. It is planned to enter the second clinical phase in the next two years. Anglo Silicon has launched a total of 16 internal pipelines covering a variety of diseases. In addition, cooperation with major pharmaceutical companies is also very important, especially when the company is founded In the early days, because it was possible to learn from the experience of major pharmaceutical companies. Due to the international trade situation, it was difficult to imagine a Chinese company to cooperate with European and American pharmaceutical giants. Now such opportunities are not rare, and British Silicon Intelligence is also seizing this opportunity. Enter China.” said Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of British Silicon.

Standing in the second international echelon, how should my country’s AI pharmaceutical industry move forward? Nobel Prize winner Dr. Michael Levitt said at the scene that in the field of chemical medicine, AI R&D and experimentalist R&D are not a competitive relationship, nor a substitute for a machine. He believes that the two are a cooperative relationship. The specific point of cooperation is that AI can directly improve accuracy and speed. What humans are good at is experimental design and the discovery of biomarkers, which cannot be replaced by machines. There are still more than 30,000 diseases in the world without drugs, and machines will not drive people away.


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