SK Biopharmaceuticals, the new drug development unit of South Korea’s telecom-to-energy conglomerate SK Group, said it has finished developing an artificially intelligent drug development and design platform that is expected to speed up its new drug discovery efforts.
The AI platform was built by studying the vast amount of research on central nervous system disorders and developing optimized algorithms in partnership with SK Holdings C&C and its AI platform Aibril.
AI-supported drug development is being pursued by many drug developers worldwide, as it can significantly reduce the required development time and lower the risk of a failure.
Among the many local pharma firms in such pursuits, SK Biopharm claims it is the first to launch a viable AI drug development platform and apply it to real-life new drug research and development procedures.
SK Biopharm’s AI drug discovery platform consists of three technologies - AI modeling including drug substance behavior prediction and drug design proposition; chemical property data storage; and AI modeling data storage.
The AI modeling portion utilises machine learning and deep learning to check a drug’s properties, including absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity, as well as to predict its action mechanism.
Based on the results, the AI discovers hidden patterns and properties in the drug substance to propose a new combinations. This new drug combination technology is unique to SK Biopharm’s AI drug discovery platform, it said.
The chemical property data storage portion collects various lab testing data for a chemical substance, and translates it into a format that can be used to train the AI model, so they can be accessed by researchers via a data portal.
SK Biopharm and SK Holdings C&C said they are currently reviewing the possibility of opening their AI drug discovery platform for broader use by Korea’s pharmaceuticals industry.
Industry interest in AI-powered drug development remains high here. The Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute co-hosted the “AI Pharma Korea Conference 2018” in Seoul last week.
The conference brought together experts from local and global companies leading AI-based drug development technologies, including IBM Watson, Numerate, NuMedii, Innoplexus, twoXAR, Standigm, Syntekabio and 3BIGS.