It may feel like generative AI technology suddenly burst onto the scene over the last year or two, with the appearance of text-to-image models like Dall-E and Stable Diffusion, or chatbots like ChatGPT that can churn out astonishingly convincing text thanks to the power of large language models. But in fact, the real work on generative AI has been happening in the background, in small increments, for many years. One demonstration of that comes from Insilico Medicine, where co-CEO Alex Zhavoronkov has been writing and talking since 2016 about the power of generative AI algorithms called GANs to help design new drugs. This February, in a milestone moment for the company, the FDA granted orphan drug designation to a small-molecule drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that Insilico discovered using its own GANs. Zhavoronkov joins Harry to talk about how Insilico got to this point, why he thinks the company will survive the shakeout happening in the biotech industry right now, and how its suite of generative algorithms and other technologies such as robotic wet labs could change the way the pharmaceutical industry operates.
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