May 27, 2024

It’s no secret that medicines can be expensive, especially if you don’t have very good insurance or no insurance at all.

Additionally, about 50 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and nearly 13 percent take five or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Now, a company hopes to use artificial intelligence technology to drastically reduce the cost of these drugs and develop new anti-cancer drugs.

Medicines can be very expensive, especially for those without proper insurance. (Kurt Knudsen)

The Backstory of This New AI Technology

OpenAI launched the now popular natural language processing tool GPT-3 back in 2020, and released another popular follow-up product ChatGPT in late 2022.

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One of the most interesting features of these products is that they can generate results on topics for which no information has been obtained before. Now, Drug development company Absci published a paper said they might be able to use similar AI models to develop new cancer drugs.

Absci announced that it may be able to use AI to develop cancer drugs.

Absci announced that it may be able to use AI to develop cancer drugs. (Kurt Knudsen)

Their AI model was asked to create antibodies against the oncogene HER2, which is associated with certain breast cancers, they wrote.

With no prior knowledge about HER2, the AI ​​model was still able to create antibodies without any prior examples of successful antibody design. The company plans to start using this AI-generating technology in its clinics by 2024.

What is generative artificial intelligence?

To clarify, generative AI is a subset of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating models or algorithms that can generate new data, such as images or text similar to the data on which the model was trained. In generative AI, the goal is to generate new data, rather than simply copying from existing data—instead, it is raw and unique.

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How does this affect you and me? The technology has the potential to significantly accelerate drug discovery and predict drug efficacy and safety, resulting in significant cost savings.

It also has the potential to improve drug manufacturing, making drugs faster and cheaper, which in turn could help lower the price you pay for prescription drugs.

Is this technology trustworthy?

Papers published by Absci have not been peer-reviewed, so their information must be treated with caution at this time. So far, too, they’ve only done computer work and haven’t done any experimental validation.

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One possible hesitation factor is that the type of AI model used to design the antibodies has not been released by the company and only describes the antibodies it produces.

So far, all the company will reveal is that it is a generative AI program, which would put it in the same category as ChatGPT and GPT-3. However, this still leaves a lot of room for speculation about the exact program they used. Hopefully, we’ll have more answers before the company starts using it in clinics in 2024.

What do you think of this new AI technology? Tell us what you think.

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