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A seasonal flu vaccine developed with the help of artificial intelligence by scientists at Flinders University is about to be tested in clinical trials across the United States.
The technology for this improved flu shot, developed by a team led by Flinders professor and research director of Vaxine, Nikolai Petrovsky, is being touted as the first human drug to be completely designed by AI.
A “turbocharged” flu vaccine created by a computer with artificial intelligence in South Australia is set to be trialled in the United States.
The flu vaccine isn’t perfect, but Australian scientists are trying to make it work better. Researchers at Flinders University in South Australia have developed a way to use artificial intelligence to create a “turbocharged” flu vaccine.
For the first time ever, a human drug has been created entirely by artificial intelligence (AI). This news comes from a team at Flinders University in Australia, who claims to have created an enhanced influenza vaccine using an AI program known Search Algorithm for Ligands (SAM). Though computers have been used to make drugs before, this was the first time it was done independently by an AI system.
This use of AI has the potential to expedite the treatment discovery process by decades according to Petrovsky and can save hundreds of millions in spending as well. The team’s research is underway with 12-month clinical trials being conducted in the US. These trials are funded by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health. The study will aim to analyze roughly 240 volunteers to see how they respond to the vaccine.
“We already know from animal testing that the vaccine is highly protective against flu, outperforming the existing vaccines,” Petrovsky said. “Now we just need to confirm this in humans.”
This use of AI not only facilitates the drug discovery process but can find more optimal treatments than humans can as well. Using neural networks that mimic the human brain, this technology can process much more information than the human brain.
Petrovsky feels that AI could become strongly integrated into the drug development process within the next 20 years. Within the next three years, he believes that his team’s vaccine could be available to the general public.
“Given the need and the pull to provide a better flu vaccine this is not something that’s going to sit on the shelf for the next 10 years,” he concluded.