Drug development is a long, costly process. In non-pandemic periods, a new pharmaceutical product could gobble up a billion dollars and a decade from start to finish. So as thousands of people per week die of COVID-19 in the United States, researchers are scrambling to make headway via their only shot at speeding up the process: finding a drug that already exists.
The problem is that even if they limit themselves to testing only those drugs that have already been approved by the FDA, researchers still have 20,000 drug possibilities to sort through. That’s where AI comes in.