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Mayo Clinic’s new startup to tackle diseases using AI

The new company will be a mix of established medical expertise (from Mayo Clinic’s team) and artificial intelligence (using nference’s computer experts). The new company will be called Qrativ.

The new organization will set out to discover and develop treatments for diseases which have an unmet medical need. This includes a range of rare diseases affecting specific patient populations.

The reason why artificial intelligence and machine learning are needed is due the complexity of the biological data being studied, especially data related to uncommon diseases.

Commenting on the initiative, Murali Aravamudan, CEO of both Qrativ and nference, told Pharmaceutical Processing: “In the last three years, the artificial intelligence field has gained incredible momentum driven by major breakthroughs in deep learning neural networks.”

Qrativ is groundbreaking in its use of AI. The application of this type of computing remains uncommon in the arena of drug development. For the new application a bespoke system called the Darwin.ai platform has been developed.

READ MORE: GSK and Exscientia to collaborate on artificial intelligence

The deep learning neural networks to be used by Qrativ will help to identify nascent drug-disease, drug-gene and other therapeutically-relevant associations drawn from an array of biomedical literature. These signals will then be triangulated with patient records and molecular drug evidence in order to accelerate drug discovery and development.

READ MORE: Artificial intelligence is aiding dairy farming

Since the biggest breakthroughs in drug development have not happened systematically, medical researchers hope that the ability of artificial intelligence systems to process vast arrays of data will reap dividends. Researchers also hypothesize that AI may help determine that existing drugs, used for one disease, will actually work against another. This results in what’s known as ‘drug purposing’.

For a different take on artificial intelligence developments, see Digital Journals’s report “Why neuromorphic technology is the key to future AI.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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