The Mexican scientist Alan Aspuru Guzik, considered one of the most important researchers in modern chemistry, discovered a potential drug against liver cancer, using three different types of artificial intelligence (AI).
The researcher from the University of Toronto, Canada, in statements to EFE quoted in a report published on the website of Latin Usassured that AI can speed up and make the development of medicines cheaper after discovering this remedy.
Aspuru Guzik was able to reduce the study time to discover a molecule that can potentially treat liver cancer from one year to one month.
“That’s what’s fabulous. Artificial intelligence sped up that initial process, which typically takes six months to a year, to a month. This encourages us that if we continue to use artificial intelligence in other areas of drug development, we can continue to compress times, lower costs, and make medicine more accessible,” said the expert.
What types of AI did the scientist use?
The Mexican, with the help of his work team and the company Insilico Medicina, used the AI platforms of PandaOmics, AlphaFold and Chemistry42 to make the discovery.
With PandaOmics, they were able to identify weak spots in hepatocellular carcinoma cancer proteins. Meanwhile, with AlphaFord, they identified the structure of the molecule that could attack proteins. Finally, with Chemistry42, they generated the molecule that was subsequently tested with live cells to show that it did indeed slow down cancer growth.
Now, the experts will have to carry out clinical tests with animals and later with humans to verify that the discovered molecule would indeed produce an effective medicine against liver cancer.
“Developing a medicine like that in general is a process that can take a decade and 2 billion dollars. Any process that we can use to speed up that long journey will obviously go a long way for humanity,” said Alan Aspuru Guzik.