‘Pay as you go’ Artificial Intelligence

Posted On: 
1st May 2019

Chief.AI and Medicines Discovery Catapult awarded funding to make AI accessible to all drug discovery researchers

Today [1 May 2019], Artificial Intelligence (AI) in drug discovery gains further support as Chief.AI and Medicines Discovery Catapult secure a grant from Innovate UK to make AI accessible to all drug discovery researchers.

This partnership will address the need for more accessible AI and data in the B2B marketplace – prioritising drug discovery, diagnostics and clinical trials markets.

By providing easy access to scarce but invaluable, cutting edge skills, resources and expertise, the platform will enable UK SMEs to leverage the power of AI at the click of a button, reinvigorating drug discovery by indirectly contributing to novel new drugs, treatments and diagnostics.

Users will be able to search by sector and/or keyword to discover and connect their own machine and database to the relevant AI algorithm on a pay as you go, on demand basis.

£370k funding will enable Chief.AI to create their searchable online platform, providing researchers with access to downloadable, off-the-shelf AI models, algorithms and high-quality data. Thus, connecting customers to suppliers in a secure, private environment, deriving revenue via commission and cloud provider charges.

Medicines Discovery Catapult will support the development of high-quality datasets and plan to provide exclusive access via the Chief.AI platform to their own novel AI algorithms; state-of-the-art image processing models capable of extracting information from pharmacological data and medical images in scientific journal papers to predict a potential drug targets performance.

The platform will be enriched through a comprehensive rating, benchmarking, pricing and scoring system and provide tailored sector relevant services as opposed to a one stop shop. Each AI algorithm will be further validated by customer use and experience.

New models for drug discovery are desperately needed. Around 90% of potential drug candidates fail and the cost of failure is enormous, ranging from $800m to $1.4bn. For drugs targeting complex and poorly understood conditions, failure is near certain.

AI has the potential to solve many of the underlying issues with drug discovery. For example, deep learning algorithms could analyse molecules and predict how they might act in the human body at an earlier stage than in the traditional drug discovery process, potentially saving £billions in needless R&D and clinical trials

A number of companies are developing AI services and investment in AI for drug discovery is surging. However, lack of expertise and lack of knowledge about available services is a barrier to uptake. Furthermore, lack of sufficient high-quality structured and standardised data represents a major challenge in the implementation of AI.

Professor John Overington, Chief Informatics Officer of Medicines Discovery Catapult, says:

“This partnership and funding clearly indicate the importance and value of artificial intelligence as a new approach to support UK SMEs and reinvigorate drug discovery. Our aim is to help deliver a platform which is of high value to UK SMEs to advance their own drug discovery projects faster and more efficiently by accessing otherwise inaccessible, complex technical expertise”

Waqar Ali, Founder of Chief.AI says:

“The UK is where the first industrial revolution began, and we now want to accelerate AI provision throughout the world to become one of the biggest industrial force multipliers of the twenty first century. Chief.AI will make the discovery of drugs more efficient, at lower cost and will diagnose diseases earlier to enable better outcomes.”

Dr Kath Mackay, Director - Ageing Society, Health & Nutrition, Innovate UK says:

“Harnessing the capabilities of AI in medicine and in other fields is a key component of the government’s modern industrial strategy. Innovate UK’s support for Chief.AI and Medicines Discovery Catapult will help to allow SMEs to work more efficiently and rapidly in the realm of drug discovery. This will lead to real benefits for patients and help expand and grow this vital sector.”

The capabilities of AI are predicted to drive Global GDP upwards of 14% by 2030, resulting in a total gain of $15.7 trillion due to productivity and personalisation improvements. In the UK, the gain is predicted to be as large as 5% of GDP, and extra spending power per household of up to £1,800-£2,300 a year by 2030.