Building on the success of AlphaFold artificial intelligence last year, which successfully predicted the structure of proteins, Google plans to embark on pharmaceutical research with the creation of Isomorphic Labs.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has just created a new subsidiary called Isomorphic Labs. This time it’s not a new web service, but a pharmaceutical research lab. If the activity may seem strange to the web giant, it is actually based on the artificial intelligence of its subsidiary DeepMind.
Isomorphic Labs aims to be a pioneer in the field of “digital biology”. The firm wishes ” reimagine the whole drug discovery process “And use artificial intelligence to” model and understand some of the fundamental mechanisms of life “. According to its founder Demis Hassabis, it is possible to conceive of biology as an information processing system. There is therefore a common structure between computer science and biology, in other words an isomorphism, hence the name Isomorphic Labs.
Partnerships with pharmaceutical laboratories
The announcement does not give more details, however we have already seen AI used in the medical field, for example when AlphaFold of DeepMind succeeded in predicting the structure of protein, or when another AI discovered a new antibiotic. A spokesperson told The Vergethat the company will not be able to develop its own drugs. She will build models to predict how drugs will interact with the body, and resell these models to partner pharmaceutical companies.
Isomorphic Labs is based in the UK and intends to build a cutting edge team. For these purposes, they recruit many profiles in the fields of artificial intelligence, of biology, of chemistry pharmaceuticals, as well as biophysics. However, it will undoubtedly be necessary to wait several years before seeing results, the time to create a new specialized AI, based on that of DeepMind …
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