The pharmaceutical industry uses artificial intelligence to speed up drug development. However, this does not mean that the technology can outperform humans, writes Bloomberg.

The agency cites the example of Genentech, which recently began recruiting 200 volunteers to test an experimental drug. So far, it has been used to treat lung and skin diseases. But now experts want to find out whether it will be effective against ulcerative colitis.

Usually, it takes years to reorient drugs for use against other diseases. But now it has been done in nine months. AI helped in this process by scanning millions of possibilities to confirm the benefit of the drug against another disease.

Aviv Regev, a computational biologist at Harvard University and MIT who leads Genentech’s research and development, explained the benefits of AI.

According to her, the use of technology does not mean that humans are no longer needed. However, Aviv Regev is convinced that “the human all of a sudden gets the superpower.”

However, the real test for biotechnology will be whether drugs developed with the help of AI will be more successful for patients than those developed by humans. Although this is far from certain, significant investments are being made in the technology.

The AI gold rush in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology has also attracted the attention of NVIDIA. It is currently doing at least some business with 20 major pharmaceutical companies and more than 2 500 startups. The company states that it is determined to work for the development of the industry.

There are a lot of hopes for AI. For example, according to BCG, it traditionally takes 12 to 15 years to bring a drug to market. However, AI-powered R&D can help cut 25% to 50% of the time and costs to bring drug candidates to the human testing stage.

Nevertheless, research will still be needed to prove whether AI-generated drugs have a higher probability of clinical success.