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AI Discovers New Drug That Fights Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Artificial intelligence is helping fight deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria with the discovery of a new drug class. Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat that has outpaced the development of new drugs. Bacteria are evolving resistance faster than researchers can come up with new antibiotics. Only 43 antibiotics are currently in clinical trials. Drug companies have little financial incentive to spend money developing antibiotics that may fail in trials. The federal government is considering paying for more antibiotic research. But other strategies are also needed to test more potential drugs.
According to scientists, AI is an exciting strategy because it learns and works quickly. In April, Canadian and U.S. researchers reported that AI discovered a new drug class that can fight multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. This common hospital bacterium causes over 2.8 million infections annually in the U.S., including 34,000 in Georgia alone. The AI researchers created a computer model that searched through thousands of possible drug molecules and identified one that works against the bacteria.