FDA, AI company partner to improve drug development process

Dana Solutions, a California-based AI company, is partnering with the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to improve the drug development process by using AI, the company announced Feb. 25.

The research collaborative agreement follows a recent report that predicted the increased use of AI applications for drug research and development will help drive the AI in healthcare market. Scientists also recently questioned how AI could change the drug discovery industry following the success of DeepMind, an AI lab owned by Google parent company Alphabet, in a protein-folding problem competition.

The entities plan to use Dana Solutions’ deep learning platform to predict clinical toxic side effects of drugs applied to human cell culture models, including iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes, according to a press release. Additionally, the research will focus on in vitro structural toxicity and demonstrate improved sensitivity over existing functional assays and improved prediction of in vivo toxicity.

"Through this collaborative agreement, we will work with FDA to establish how AI can improve the drug development process, with a focus on drug safety testing,” Mahnaz Maddah, PhD, managing member of Dana Solutions, said in a prepared statement. “The combination of human iPSC-derived cell models with our deep learning platform represents an emerging technology with potential to shift the paradigms on drug safety assessment."