DeNA Starts Research Collaboration in AI-Powered Drug Discovery Utilizing Pharmaceutical Company Compound Data
TOKYO, JAPAN - January 10, 2018 - DeNA Co., Ltd. and DeNA Life Science, Inc. announced joint research with Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. and Shionogi & Co., Ltd. This research, begun in January 2018, focuses on using the compound information (including the molecular structure and properties) owned by Asahi Kasei Pharma and Shionogi to validate the potential of AI technology in drug discovery.
Further, DeNA Life Science has begun exploring opportunities for developing an AI-driven drug discovery business globally with Summit Pharmaceuticals International Corporation.
Pharmaceutical companies strongly desire to increase the productivity of the drug discovery process, and increasingly are looking to the significant potential of AI technology. Currently, in the early stages of the drug discovery process for small molecules, IT technology, experience, and instinct are employed to design and synthesize compounds with the potential to become drugs. After evaluation for aspects such as efficacy and safety, compounds with the best balance are selected. However, each project needs 4,263* compounds on average in order to get just one compound through this validation process, and due to the need to validate compounds one by one, the whole process for one project in Japan might take over 3 years and cost 1 billion yen.
In this research, DeNA and DeNA Life Science aim to use AI technology and data provided by pharmaceutical companies to develop and validate technology that will lead to a significant reduction in the cost and time required for compound optimization.
Further, the IT and AI drug discovery expert Takashi Ishida, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tokyo Institute of Technology and an expert in silico drug discovery and artificial intelligence, has been appointed as a science and technology advisor for this research.
Through these efforts to utilize AI technology in drug discovery, DeNA and DeNA Life Science aim to drive better health and longevity for all people.
*Please refer to the 2011-2015 figures from the "DATA BOOK 2017" provided by JPMA (The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association).