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Daewoong, UNIST to use AI to boost drug discovery
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2018.11.16 14:41
  • Updated 2018.11.16 14:41
  • comments 0

Daewoong Pharmaceutical said it would adopt artificial intelligence (AI) to boost drug discoveries.

The drugmaker and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) signed an agreement to apply big data and AI technologies to the existing system of the new drug development at the university’s main building in Ulsan, Friday.

Daewoong Pharmaceutical CEO Jeon Seung-ho (fifth from left) and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology President Jung Moo-young hold a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in AI-based drug development at the UNIST’s main building in Ulsan, Friday.

Under the agreement, Daewoong will engage in data processing for new drug development and experimental analysis of new drug candidates, and UNIST will develop data analysis algorithms and AI technologies.

Pharmaceutical firms have searched for drug candidates one by one. Now, however, they can hunt for drug candidates using AI, which will learn itself from existing data. To find candidates using AI, the “Data Science” technology was essential, the company said. The technology helps the company extract knowledge and insight from diverse and vast amounts of data.

Experts in the area are working at the UNIST’s School of Management Engineering, which was established in March 2016. Out of the eight faculty members, seven are experts in data science. The school specializes in research and education of data science.

Lee Jung-hye, a professor at the UNIST’s School of Management Engineering, said multinational pharmaceutical firms were increasingly using big data and AI to discover a drug candidate or verify therapeutic efficacy. “AI that learns various kinds of data including medicine, drugs, and genomes will drastically reduce the time for new drug development,” she said.

UNIST President Jung Moo-young said, “The biomedical industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.”

He went on to say, “Working with Daewoong, which has various experiences in drug development and know-how, will lead to influential research and creation of new industries.”

Daewoong Pharmaceutical CEO Jeon Seung-ho said the joint research with UNIST was part of the company’s healthcare business aimed at the public interest. “Developing a platform technology using big data will help Daewoong build new pipelines,” Jeon added.


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