December 15, 2023

Data Scientists Unveil AI Framework to Identify New Indications for Existing Drugs

Klick Applied Sciences presents new way to make drug repurposing more efficient at leading AI conference

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NEW YORK, NY, TORONTO, ON – December 15, 2023 – Scientists at Klick Applied Sciences have created an artificial intelligence framework that can rapidly identify new use cases for existing therapeutics, according to findings presented Friday at the NeurIPS conference that could greatly improve the drug repurposing process and transform the pharmaceutical industry.

The team debuted their algorithm, called LOVENet, a Large Optimized Vector Embeddings Network which integrates two cutting-edge AI technologies: large language model (LLM), and structured knowledge graph technology, which mathematically represents the relationships between drugs and diseases to offer a fresh perspective on new potential therapeutic applications.

Drug repurposing, the practice of identifying new therapeutic indications for existing drugs, has long been an area of interest due to the time and cost constraints associated with traditional drug development. Some reports estimate about 30 to 40 percent of new drugs and biologics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be considered repurposed or repositioned products.

Jouhyun Jeon, lead scientist and principal investigator at Klick Applied Sciences, said LOVENet is designed to address these challenges by seamlessly integrating advanced machine-learning methods with extensive biological and clinical datasets. Her team found LOVENet to be successful in highlighting drug associations with other disease states already confirmed by scientific literature. One example they cited was a drug initially approved to treat heart rhythm disturbances that has also been shown to be helpful in treating seizures.

“The usual path for developing new medicines can take more than a decade,” Jeon said. “By using AI to speed up the repurposing process, we hope to shave years off current timelines, identify more uses for existing drugs, and ultimately provide physicians and patients with more treatment options across a wide range of therapeutic areas.”

Klick’s EVP of Data Science Alfred Whitehead said, “LOVENet is an important first step in a new era of drug discovery. We think it holds amazing promise to lower development costs, while increasing time efficiency and risk mitigation. It could also greatly assist in streamlining regulatory pathways, expanding market opportunities, while addressing unmet medical needs.”

Today’s news is the latest glimpse into how Klick has been embracing AI and machine learning in a number of innovative ways. Earlier this week, the company announced the Klick Prize, an internal challenge team members who contribute the best AI ideas for life sciences clients. In October, it announced groundbreaking research in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health around the AI model it created to detect Type 2 diabetes using 10 seconds of voice. The agency also recently launched the first ChatGPT plugin for life sciences companies in the U.S. and announced an exclusive North American partnership with AI pioneer Rainbird Technologies.

About Klick Applied Sciences (including Klick Labs)

Klick Applied Sciences’ diverse team of data scientists, engineers, and biological scientists conducts scientific research and develops AI/ML and software solutions as part of the company’s work to support commercial efforts using its proven business, scientific, medical, and technological expertise. Its 2019 Voice Assistants Medical Name Comprehension study laid the scientific foundation for rigorously testing voice assistant consumer devices in a controlled manner. Klick Applied Sciences is part of the Klick Group of companies, which also includes Klick Health (including Klick Katalyst and btwelve), Klick Media Group, Klick Consulting, Klick Ventures, and Sensei Labs. Established in 1997, Klick has offices in New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, London, São Paulo, and Singapore. Klick has consistently been ranked a Best Managed Company, Great Place to Work, Best Workplace for Women, Best Workplace for Inclusion, Best Workplace for Professional Services, and Most Admired Corporate Culture.

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