Researchers are developing a “Minority Report” as a technology for drugs

There’s a whole world of chemical “dark matter” right beyond our fingertips right now.

No, foreknowledge is not an issue.

But people who are developing new design drugs are predictable, it seems.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver and other universities trained a computer to predict the molecular structure of new drugs.

“There’s a whole world of chemical ‘dark matter’ right beyond our fingertips right now. I think there’s a huge opportunity for the right AI tools to illuminate this unknown chemical world,” Dr. Michael Skinnider says in a press release. He completed the research as a doctor at UBC.

Design drugs are newly designed drugs that go beyond the law; they are typically very similar to previously developed drugs and have similar effects, but are different enough not to be technically categorized under the laws regulating the drug they were made to mimic, such as new versions of bansals and synthetic opioids.

Using data collected from around the world on illegal drugs, researchers trained the computer to invent new drugs that had not yet been created, but that would match the parameters. It has invented 8.9 million different chemical designs.

They then compared 196 newly created design drugs that did not exist when the computer was initially programmed, with those it invented.

The computer, a deep neural network, invented more than 175 of the drugs.

“The fact that we can predict what design drugs are likely to appear on the market before they actually appear is a bit like the 2002 science fiction film, Minority Report, where foreknowledge of criminal activities to take place helped significantly reduce crime in 2002. future world , ”Explains Dr. David Wishart of the University of Alberta, who was the senior author of the research paper.

Now that the computer can predict what chemicals are likely to appear in the near future, law enforcement agencies and public health officials can start things. It would previously take months to identify a new designer drug once it was found by authorities. Now it takes days.

“The vast majority of these design drugs have never been tested in humans and are completely unregulated. They are a major public health concern for emergency departments around the world,” says Dr. Skinnider.

The model did more than just identify the structures; it was also possible to predict which were more likely to appear at the market.

While the technology was used to identify drugs this time around, it could be used in other research on molecular structures.

Leave a Comment