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Digital Environment Research Institute (DERI)

AI for drug discovery

DERI is building a strong base for Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based drug discovery bioscience. 

In the UK, the average health span is not keeping pace with increased lifespan. Understanding the ageing process and developing pharmaceutical interventions to promote healthy ageing are fundamental to transforming this future. 

UK pharmaceutical companies have a key role to play, but the current drug discovery process is widely regarded as slow and inefficient. On average, it costs approximately $1.3 billion and ten years to bring a new therapeutic drug to market, and this cost is expected to increase. AI can play a role to reduce drug discovery costs and timelines by leveraging large scientific databases, evaluating potential drug candidates in silico, and accelerating high content screening assays through automated data analysis.  

Realising the potential of AI is contingent on access to a skilled workforce, as highlighted in the UK’s National AI Strategy. To this end, we have partnered with MSD, Exscientia and Heptares Therapeutics to set up the “AI for Drug Discovery” doctoral training programme to train a next generation of interdisciplinary researchers. Graduates from this programme will have knowledge of the biological principles that underpin drug discovery as well as deep understanding of AI methodologies.  

To find out more see our press release, here. or visit our dedicated webpages.


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