Innovations in Technology Changing Drug Discovery and Development
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Innovations in Technology Changing Drug Discovery and Development

Pharma Tech Outlook | Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Technological innovations and approaches could transform drug discovery and development in the years to come.

Fremont, CA: When it comes to emerging medical innovations, everyone envisions future AI computers, 3D-printed organs, and robot surgeons. However, the more audacious and less-explored strategies currently used in drug discovery and development may be equally intriguing. According to polls conducted by the pharmaceutical sector, medication development will be the area most impacted by the application of smart technology. As the year winds down, Pharmaceutical Technology examines some of the technology advancements and techniques that have the potential to alter drug discovery in 2022.

Here are some of the innovations in technology changing drug discovery and development:

Using AI with supercomputing

Supercomputers are far faster and more potent than general-purpose computers and are particularly useful for scientific and data-intensive applications. Thus, it is natural that researchers would seek to apply supercomputing to the time-consuming process of drug discovery and design.

Gene writing

Gene editing is the process of inserting, deleting, modifying, or replacing DNA in the genome, which is a promising and relatively new technique for treating genetic problems. Even more recent is the concept of gene editing for the treatment of genetic diseases. Tessera Therapeutics pioneered the process, which involves directly inserting therapeutic messages into the genome to rectify disease-causing genetic flaws and the business claims that the technology has the ability to treat nearly any inherited ailment at its source. Gene writing is based on the use of mobile genetic elements (MGEs), which are small pieces of genetic material that may be put into particular sites within a genome using DNA or RNA templates.

Quantum computing

While applying computational methods to drug development is not novel, the use of ultra-efficient quantum computers to identify previously unknown molecules has emerged as a promising area of research very recently. While classical computers operate with "bits" that are either on or off, quantum computers operate with "qubits" that can be either on or off, or both - a state known as superposition. This superposition property enables quantum computers to significantly accelerate and optimize testing and prediction, making the technology particularly attractive for drug discovery efforts.

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