07 November 2022
Mitch Langridge By Mitch Langridge

The Role of AI in Drug Discovery.

Whilst the future of artificial intelligence within the drug discovery industry has seen considerable growth over recent years, it seems the future trajectory of AI really holds the best developments yet.

From the founding efforts of companies like Exscientia and Schrodinger to start-ups taking the lead on innovative new applications, the future of AI in drug discovery is promising. I took a look at some of the sector’s most exciting companies to see what they’re working on, and their thoughts on the future of AI.

Drug Discovery Start-Ups Leading the Way in AI.



PostEra is at the forefront of modern 21st-century biopharma, combining machine learning and medicinal chemistry to innovate on drug discovery and develop drug candidates in a much shorter timeframe than current capabilities.

One of their most recent creations is the Manifold platform, which, combined with the rest of their medicinal chemistry platform, is now embarking on using its technology to discover drugs in-house. Something that their recent collaboration with Pfizer may help make a reality sooner rather than later.

So what will the development of AI lead to in the sector? In conversation with PostEra’s CEO, Aaron Morris, we discussed how AI will be a critical technology in the drug discovery area, but will not rule out the need for scientists' input. Whilst AI will continue to improve at predicting outcomes; it won’t replace human expertise when it comes to defining what the key drug discovery outcomes should be.

OneThree Biotech

Meanwhile, the AI platform created by OneThree Biotech offers an accurate generation of new and testable insights to help discover new treatments, with multiple clinical validations.

Working in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Cornell Tech, OneThree Biotech has validated its ability to predict novel targets and patient-specific biomarkers, alongside identifying optimal drug candidates from their committed and extensive research and development.

With over 20 peer-reviewed publications and considerable success advancing in-house programs, the company has forged a significant position for itself in the industry. We can expect to see their continued involvement in the wider use of AI in drug discovery and biopharma.

Valo Health

The innovative team at Valo Health has created the world’s first end-to-end drug development platform, with plans to accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to help mitigate the symptoms of a myriad of conditions. Launched in collaboration with Charles River Laboratories, with a very successful Series B funding award of $300million, Valo Health developed the platform from start to finish and is excited about its future prospects.

On the topic of the future of AI in drug discovery, Valo Health CEO, David Berry, believes that AI will be incredibly useful in filling in the gaps of human expertise - but will be a collaborator, not a direct replacement, for scientist skill sets. AI use will be particularly reliable in mass computation, above and beyond human capability, and Berry feels this will augment our capabilities, allowing for overall faster drug discovery at less cost.

The Future of AI in Drug Discovery.

Companies across the drug discovery sector are using AI in a variety of ways to support and speed up drug development, and it seems clear that AI will remain an important weapon within biopharma.

Whilst it will not replace scientific ability, it will be a strong collaborator in development, allowing scientists to work more efficiently, and allowing for even greater advancements in the years to come.

Are you interested in discussing the future of drug discovery and AI technologies in more detail? Or do you have additional comments to add to this article?

Feel free to drop me a message at mitch.langridge@lifesci-cm.com or connect with me on LinkedIn to chat!

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Charlton Morris is a Talent Solutions business who offer search, contract, volume and employer branding solutions to the life science markets.

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Mitch Langridge

Working with various candidates and clients within the drug discovery market, Mitch connects industry-leading talent to fulfil the needs of innovative organisations, from disruptive start-ups to multinational corporations. A diverse network across multiple scientific and technical disciplines, including Chemistry, Biology, and AI / ML innovation, combined with their detailed professional knowledge of the Drug Discovery industry, delivers effective search processes.


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