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AI Designed Drug Begins First Human Trials
An AI designed drug has begun phase 1 human trials, marking an important step forward for the pharmaceutical industry. Insilico Medicine, a Hong Kong and New York based biotech company, has dosed the first patient with the drug INS018_055. The medicine aims to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease.
Insilico's founder Alex Zhavoronkov called it a "moment of truth" for the company and AI drug development in general. The drug was designed using Insilico's AI tools that can discover new drug candidates faster and at lower cost.
AI in the pharma sector could unlock a $50 billion opportunity by cutting development time and expenses, according to Morgan Stanley. Insilico's AI platforms crunched huge amounts of data and identified proteins and molecules that led to creating INS018_055.
Phase 1 trials in New Zealand and China showed promising results, paving the way for phase 2. Up to 60 patients with IPF in China and the US will now test the drug's safety, tolerance and initial efficacy.
Insilico decided to conduct the trials themselves rather than partner with big pharma, to maintain control of the AI drug development program and further refine their AI systems.
If successful, INS018_055 could demonstrate the huge potential of AI in designing breakthrough medicines.