How generative AI could cut health care costs, develop new cancer drugs
It’s no secret that pharmaceutical drug prices are expensive, especially if you don’t have good insurance or no insurance at all.
Add to that the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50% of Americans take at least one prescription drug, while nearly 13% take five or more medications.
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Now one company hopes to significantly reduce that drug cost and develop new cancer drugs with AI technology.
The backstory of this new AI technology
OpenAI introduced the now popular natural language processing tool GPT-3 in 2020 and released its other popular successor ChatGPT in late 2022.
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One of the most interesting features of these products is that they can spew out results on a subject they have not previously been given information about. Now, the drug development company Absci has released a paper stating that they may be able to develop new cancer drugs using a similar AI model.
They wrote that their AI model was asked to make antibodies against the oncogene HER2, which has been linked to certain breast cancers.
Because it had been given no prior knowledge about HER2, the AI model was still able to make antibodies without previously getting examples of successful antibody designs. The company plans to start using this generative AI technology in its clinic by 2024.
What is Generative AI?
To clarify, generative AI is a subset of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating models or algorithms that can produce new data, such as images or text, that resemble the data the model was trained on. In generative AI, the goal is to generate new data that is not simply copied from existing data, but is original and unique.
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How does this translate to you and me? The technology has the potential to dramatically accelerate drug discovery and predict drug efficacy and safety, which could result in significant cost savings.
It also has the potential to improve drug manufacturing, allowing drugs to be produced faster and at a lower cost, which in turn could help lower the prices you pay for your prescription drugs.
Can this technology be trusted?
The paper released by Absci has not yet been peer-reviewed, so their information should be used with caution from now on. They’ve also only gone so far as computer work as of now, and no experimental validation has been completed yet.
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The only factor that might make people hesitant is that the type of AI model used to design the antibodies has not yet been released by the company and only describes the antibodies it produced.
The only thing the company will reveal from now on 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 guessing which specific program they are using. Hopefully we’ll get more answers before the company starts using it in clinics in 2024.
What do you think of this new AI technology? Tell us your opinion.
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