Harnessing AI & new technologies for pharmaceutical R&D
To accelerate drug development for neglected diseases
Digitalization, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and new technologies and platforms are bringing transformational benefits to the fields of medicine, pharmaceutical research, and public health. We are working to ensure these benefits extend to the most neglected.
Accelerate the pharmaceutical R&D process with cutting edge technology
DNDi is committed to employing new technologies to improve the efficiency and accelerate the pace of the R&D process, including AI-driven drug discovery tools; novel imaging, diagnostic, and clinical trial design and operations technologies; and AI-driven data analysis.
Partnerships with leading AI companies are already bearing fruit. DeepMind is a British AI company whose scientists and engineers are at the forefront of using AI to address a challenge that has confounded biologists for 50 years: how to predict the shape of a protein using the amino acids that constitute it. Proteins are the building blocks of life – and disease – and the ability to predict their structures has profound implications for drug discovery and development. In 2021, our discovery team was invited to trial the software to overcome a puzzling challenge that was impossible to address with standard laboratory methods – and the research breakthrough could help speed up the development of a promising treatment for leishmaniasis.
Implement eHealth solutions to strengthen data collection
In addition to exploring the use of new technologies in the drug discovery and development process, we are also expanding our use of eHealth solutions at our trial sites to strengthen data collection, processing, and analysis, and improve patient safety while managing associated risks, particularly in the areas of privacy and the protection of patients and personal data.
Best practices in data collection are yielding results in Eastern Africa where the Data Management and Biostatistics Centre, established in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2004 helps to run studies in remote areas in the region, as well as providing a vital service to other organizations through data management and statistical analysis for clinical trials throughout the region. The Centre adopted an electronic data capture system to retrieve data in real time from clinical trial sites for faster review, analysis, and sharing, and since its inception, has managed data for over a dozen clinical trials for leishmaniasis, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, paediatric HIV, Buruli ulcer, and mycetoma – including with partner organizations such as the World Health Organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and the Kenya Medical Research Institute.
Consider host targeted therapies and biologics for the treatment of neglected diseases
DNDi is committed to exploring host targeted therapies as alternative or complementary therapeutic options to single antimicrobial regimens, as well as the potential of fast-evolving therapeutic modalities beyond small molecule drugs – for example, messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) therapeutics, monoclonal antibodies, and other biologics – that hold promise for the treatment of DNDi target diseases.
CpG-D35, an immunomodulator, is currently being explored as a booster to current treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Find out more about CpG-D35
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