Artificial intelligence is already gaining steam as one of the most-talked-about tech trends of 2017.
It’s one of those umbrella terms that’s easy to throw around. But away from the big conferences and debates about tech’s role in society, the hard work to develop the predictive technology is happening.
One of those spots is the Eastern Campus of the Emerging Technology Centers, where Insilico Medicine is working to develop algorithms that can help select and develop the right drugs. The company sees artificial intelligence as a path to reduce the use of animal testing in developing pharmaceuticals, and is even working on a virtual human to simulate how drugs affect the body.
The latest news from the company shows how its work could help other companies pick out what works and what doesn’t. Insilico’s research on aging (one study was published in the journal Aging) showed how artificial intelligence could help show the specific molecules that influence the aging process.
This was interesting to 37-year-old Life Extension, a company that makes anti-aging supplements. The natural supplement, or nutraceuticals, market is big, but it’s a place where other research studies have questioned whether the supplements actually prevent disease.
InSilco’s algorithms were used at the early stage of development of a new product to screen for the right compounds to help slow or reverse aging, said Insilico Medicine COO Qingsong Zhu.
Some of the compounds they identified were used in Ageless Cell, a new product in Life Extension’s “Geroprotect” line that was released this week.
“Our collaboration with Insilico Medicine fostered a novel approach to formulating anti-aging supplements utilizing artificial intelligence and sophisticated biologically-inspired algorithms and resulted in the very first AI formulated supplement,” Andrew G. Swick, Life Extension’s senior vice president of scientific affairs, discovery research and product development, said in a statement.
Talk of AI and extending human life seem to go hand-in-hand around tech circles. Both are in play for Insilico Medicine.