DM Intelligence: Transforming Drug Discovery with AI
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DM Intelligence: Transforming Drug Discovery with AI

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Dr Weidong Xie, Founder and CEO, DM IntelligenceDr Weidong Xie, Founder and CEO
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

This profound excerpt from Charles Dickens’ A Tales of Two Cities correctly surmises the present-day pharmaceutical industry’s story. While the recent scientific and technological advances have revived the industry’s future, the rising customer expectations and poor scientific productivity have posed fundamental challenges to this growth. For decades, drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry has been mired in high costs and slower successes—making it an expensive, slow, and risky business. This is precisely where companies like DM Intelligence are moving the needle.

Founded in 2018 in Guangzhou, DM Intelligence is a pharmaceutical technology company focused on artificial intelligence researches, innovations, and applications and strives for breakthroughs in the future of drug discovery and medical imaging diagnosis. “DM Intelligence could make drug discovery much cheaper, faster and more accurate than traditional drug discovery. It is possible for us to obtain hit of a given target within three months, and drug candidate molecules within four months, with costs reduced by up to 90 percent,” says Dr Weidong Xie, Founder and CEO, DM Intelligence.

Intending to transform drug discovery, DM Intelligence empowers its clients with Artificial Intelligence (AI)—often acknowledged as a game-changing technology— and its untapped potential in improving the conventional ways of drug discovery. From locating target protein, screening small molecule, predicting chemical compound properties to simulating drug synthesis route and stipulating clinical protocol smarter and faster, DM intelligence is committed to integrating AI into the medical field, working with clinicians and pharmaceutical companies to provide better service to patients. DM Intelligence brings propriety AI technologies to the table to increase the accuracy rate in drug discovery—up to 74 per cent at the moment. “With the molecules available in the market, it is possible for us to use the fast feedback loops. Accordingly, drug discovery will be characterized by decreasing failure rates,” adds Dr Weidong Xie.

A New Frontier in Drug Discovery: AI

At the core, DM Intelligence’s AI platform is addressing a long-standing problem in drug discovery: increasing failure rates, a high degree of uncertainty, and, most importantly, the slow process. While hundreds or thousands of compounds must be screened and optimized against different properties, as little as 10 per cent of the compounds progress through all clinical stages of drug development. This has been linked to a lack of clinical efficacy and unacceptable toxicity. A portion of these failures, at Phase III clinical trials, lead back to the results obtained from the early drug discovery. To that end, Dr Weidong Xie underscores that selecting the “right” drug candidate for development is the key to success. Starting with the preclinical stage in drug discovery, DM Intelligence leverages AI to help identify drug candidate molecules that are both safe and effective. Utilizing data to power the success of drug discovery, the company has collected data—on small molecules, active molecules, protein structures—on its own from billions of points. “However, accelerating drug discovery does not come from the fact that we can extract data, we need to complement the data with physical and mathematical modeling, using high-performance computing, quantum, and AI.
This is where our high-performance computing systems step in,” he adds.

DM Intelligence could make drug discovery much cheaper, faster and more accurate than traditional drug discovery

These high-performance computing systems allow the company’s researchers to run a large number of calculations in bioinformatics and molecular modelling—experiments that would take years to complete if worked by hand, or months if handled on slower, traditional computing platforms. To achieve such impressive results, DM Intelligence employs the computing power of one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, Tianhe-2. The company’s AI platform can be availed for one to three days, allowing users to screen compound libraries (10 thousand) and select the possible hits of a given target. DM Intelligence also provides hit screening, lead screening, and drug repurposing services. Within drug discovery, DM Intelligence has developed algorithms to solve the problem of binding affinity.

Cheaper, Faster and More Accurate

The ability to provide advanced algorithms, group work, efficient process workflow in the process of drug discovery is a winning differentiator for DM Intelligence, helping it deliver cheaper, faster, and more accurate customer services. Besides more data, better algorithms, increasing processing power, DM Intelligence’s uniqueness also stems from its highly experienced leadership team of experts seasoned in drug discovery. The team brings unparalleled expertise in drug discovery and technology to help clients accelerate and improve the efficacy of drug development. “As a group combined with biologists, chemists, computer scientists, algorithm scientists, and pharmacists, we have developed our own drug discovery pipelines. At first, it takes 1 year to find a hit, with accurate rate below 0.1 percent. However, with more data and better algorithms, we make it possible to find hits within three months, also the accuracy rate above 70 percent,” informs Dr Weidong Xie.

Putting theory into action, there are numerous success stories that DM Intelligence has scripted for its clients. At a time when the world is battling against the coronavirus pandemic, DM Intelligence has teamed up with the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease under Guangzhou Medical University (Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan’s research group) and the school of life science of Sun Yat-sen University to find the cure. Dr Weidong Xie illustrates, “The process of coronavirus replication plays an important role in the life circle of virus. CoV main proteases (Mpro), which are key enzymes in viral gene expression and replication, is a validated therapeutic target for this indication. Protease inhibitors may block cleavage of the polymerase protein to inhibit viral RNA synthesis.”

With the AI drug discovery platform, DM Intelligence screened the approved drugs as well as databases for high potency compounds and experimental drugs and selected 40 marketed drugs. The candidates include anti-HCV drugs Boceprevir, anti-HIV drugs like Darunavir and Abacavir, as well as antifungal medication Terbinafine. Four medicines were chosen for testing, and the trial results indicated that all of them have biological activity. It’s also worth mentioning that other scientists supported the conclusion. The research team of Li Lanjuan, a renowned Chinese epidemiologist, found two drugs—Arbidol and Darunavir—that can effectively inhibit coronavirus. “Our AI system showed 27 compounds may have biological activity, which were selected to be tested. The IC50 results indicated seven compounds indeed have inhibition activity,” he adds.

Besides contributing to the fight against COVID-19, DM Intelligence has also demonstrated impressive findings of Verbascoside, a traditional Chinese medicine. Recently, by screening more than 600 targets within its AI drug discovery platform, DM Intelligence’s scientists found several new targets of Verbascoside.

To add more value to drug discovery, DM intelligence will continue empowering top pharmaceutical and small biotech companies to get drug hits/candidates with fewer expenses and high success rates.

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Top 10 Drug Discovery And Development Consulting/Services Companies In APAC - 2020

Company
DM Intelligence

Headquarters
Guangzhou, China

Management
Dr Weidong Xie, Founder and CEO

Description
DM Intelligence is a pharmaceutical technology company focused on artificial intelligence researches, innovations and applications, and strives for breakthroughs in the future of drug discovery

DM Intelligence