A team of researchers at the University in South Australia has developed a novel vaccine which is believed to be the first-ever human drug in the world to be entirely designed by artificial intelligence.
While in the past drugs used to be designed using the computers, this vaccine went a step ahead being created independently by an Artificial Intelligence-based program called SAM (Search Algorithm for Ligands).
Professor Nikolai Petrivsky of Flinders University who was the leading person behind the development told the Business Insider Australia that its name is derived from what it was primarily tasked to do: search the universe for all conceivable & possible compounds to find a good human drug (also known as a ligand).
Petrovsky, who is also the Research Director of Australian biotechnology firm ‘Vaxine’, stated that they had to teach the Artificial Intelligence program on a set of compounds that are known for the activation of the human immune system, and a set of compounds which do not work. The job of the Artificial Intelligence was then to figure out for itself what distinguished a drug that worked from one that doesn’t.
He added that we then created another program, known as the synthetic chemist which generated trillions of various chemical compounds that we then fed to Search Algorithm for Ligands so that it could examine through all of these to find candidates that it thought might be good human immune drugs.
The top candidates were then taken by the team identified by SAM, synthesized them in a laboratory & tested them on human blood cells to check whether they actually worked.
Nikolai stated that this gave them confirmation that SAM was not only the liable source to identify good drugs but also could come up with better human immune drugs than currently exist.