How artificial intelligence helps us discover therapies
For a single rare disease, there may be thousands of disease-causing mutations to look at, and hundreds of different ways of trying to fix the problem. On top of that, there may be hundreds of thousands to millions of potential drugs to search through, but only a few that work.
Sifting through so many possibilities to find those that may help is incredibly time consuming, and complicated, for human scientists, and that’s where our artificial intelligence technology offers advantages.
There are two main ways we use our artificial intelligence to help us develop potential medicines.
1. Using artificial intelligence to discover targets
First, we use artificial intelligence to rapidly examine all the possibilities and identify disease-causing mutations and ways of fixing the genetic problem. This is called target discovery and because there may be thousands of mutations and hundreds of different ways to fix the problem, having a computer do the work is a big boost.
2. Using artificial intelligence to design therapies
Second, we use artificial intelligence to design therapeutic candidates. For a specific disease, our artificial intelligence can assess hundreds of thousands to millions of different potential targeted therapies to find the ones that are most likely the best. These are then verified in our lab. Again, a big boost.
The class of therapies that Deep Genomics is currently developing are called steric-blocking oligonucleotides.
Steric blocking oligonucleotides
Steric blocking oligonucleotides are short stretches of special DNA or RNA that attach to a specific place in the RNA. By doing so, they modify that natural way in which cells process the RNA and build proteins. They don’t make any permanent changes to the DNA.
A steric blocking oligonucleotide can potentially restore production or the amount of the protein.