First Ever A.I.-Generated Drug Enters Human Clinical Trials

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Hong Kong-based biotech startup, Insilico Medicine, has made a groundbreaking advancement in the field of pharmaceuticals by creating the first-ever fully generative AI drug to enter human clinical trials. The drug, INS018_055, has been developed as a potential treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a chronic lung disease characterized by scarring of the lungs.  

According to an article published in CNBC, with over $400 million in funding, Insilico Medicine aims to revolutionize the drug discovery process using artificial intelligence. According to the National Institutes of Health, IPF affects approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States and can lead to fatal consequences if left untreated.  

Alex Zhavoronkov, the CEO of Insilico, was overjoyed with the news. He says that “it is the first fully generative AI drug to reach human clinical trials,” referring to Phase II patient testing. Our drug is one of a growing number of AI-designed pharmaceuticals currently in clinical testing, and it is the first of its type to have both a new target discovered by AI and a unique design created by AI.  

The prospect of creating a game-changing therapy for IPF spurred scientists to go on a quest to discover this revolutionary cure by 2020. As Zhavoronkov points out, existing therapies for the disease attempt to delay its course but frequently have terrible side effects. To address these concerns and enhance patient outcomes, Insilico set out to create a “moonshot” medication using AI.  

IPF has gained significant interest in Insilico Medicine due to its link with aging. The business is also tricky at work, creating two new treatments inspired by AI. Both drugs have shown promise in early-stage clinical studies; one is a COVID-19 inhibitor, while the other is a “USP1 inhibitor for the treatment of solid tumors.” The FDA recently cleared the latter for human testing. 

“I never thought in those early days that I would be integrating my own AI therapeutics into clinical research with patients,” Zhavoronkov said of the importance of putting AI-generated pharmaceuticals into clinical studies. However, it can be understood that doctors would need to develop a new medicine for a novel target to demonstrate the AI platform’s usefulness and put it through clinical trials.  

China’s current IPF medication trial is a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research. Insilico Medicine intends to expand the trial from 30 to 60 participants by opening 40 more locations in the United States and China. If the second phase’s findings are favorable, the third phase of the study will be done, which might involve hundreds of participants.  

Zhavoronkov was upbeat about the drug’s chances. Data from the Phase II investigation are being gathered and will be available to him in 2019. He did, however, confess that, due to the rarity of the sickness and the stringent parameters that patients must meet, reasonable time forecasts for subsequent phases could be more attainable. The IPF medicine has yet to be commercially available, but Zhavoronkov believes it will be within the next several years.  

The creation of the first utterly generative AI medicine by Insilico drug has resulted in significant advancement in the pharmaceutical business. Suppose this unique method of drug development is effective. In that case, it has the potential to significantly enhance the treatment of several diseases and the quality of life for individuals who suffer from them. The company’s commitment to AI-generated medicine research and development is optimistic for the potential of mass access to cutting-edge remedies. 

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