Stanford AI can predict negative side effects of millions of drug combinations

Stanford AI can predict negati...
A new AI-based system can predict whether pairs of drugs will cause adverse side effects
A new AI-based system can predict whether pairs of drugs will cause adverse side effects
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A new AI-based system can predict whether pairs of drugs will cause adverse side effects
A new AI-based system can predict whether pairs of drugs will cause adverse side effects

When a doctor prescribes a patient more than one drug simultaneously, they currently have virtually no way to predict whether that combination of pharmaceuticals will have an adverse side effect. A new system from a team of computer scientists at Stanford University presents a novel solution – an AI-driven computer system than can predict the consequences of combining two drugs.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans over the age of 65 take five or more different drugs, and doctors often simply have to monitor patients to see if any of those drugs combine to create adverse side effects. Drug combinations are a remarkably unstudied area, but as Marinka Zitnik explains, "it's practically impossible to test a new drug in combination with all other drugs, because just for one drug that would be five thousand new experiments."

So Zitnik and her Stanford colleagues set out to find a solution to the problem. They created a massive deep learning system trained on data encompassing over 19,000 proteins and how different drugs interact with those proteins. The system is called Decagon, and it can effectively predict the consequences of combining any two different drugs.

To test out Decagon's predictive abilities the team examined 10 of the system's predicted drug pair interactions that didn't have clearly known adverse interactions. The researchers found new supporting case study evidence backing up five of those 10 predictions. For example, one prediction from Decagon suggested muscle inflammation would be caused by combining a certain cholesterol drug with a blood pressure medication. This adverse side effect of combining those two drugs was only recently verified by a case study published in 2017.

"Today, drug side effects are discovered essentially by accident," says Jure Leskovec, an associate professor working on the project, "and our approach has the potential to lead to more effective and safer health care."

The next stage in the project is to try to turn Decagon into a more user-friendly tool that doctors can easily navigate for information when prescribing combinations of drugs. At this stage, the system only evaluates drug pairs but the researchers hope to expand that into more complex combinations of drugs in the future.

The research was published in the journal Bioinformatics.

Source: Stanford News

Eric Blenheim
Similar technology was produced already many years ago, fanfared in the newsmedia, stated to completely obviate the necessity for any further testing of drugs on live animals. That research was, as always, swept under the carpet, and of course, lucrative grants for repeat studies on bunny rabbits et al for whatever purpose were always a good source of income for aspiring 'researchers', even though they already knew that all the results that they would 'find' that were possible to find had already been found, yet, still unaccountably, further funding to repeat the exact same studies, with the very predictable exact same results, could always be reliably accessed. Certainly, the pharmaceutical companies benefitted. Let us wait and see if this new technology suddenly disappears for exactly the same reason, like the 'cures for cancer' that are promised very regularly in the media, that totally vanish with great regularity. The Raymond Royal Rife Beam Machine and Rife Microscope of the 1930's that diagnosed and cured all pathogenically caused diseases, AND cured 100% of all cancers, meaning no need for vaccinations, antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or brutal surgeries, was completely hidden away by the Roosevelt administration in the USA, causing the deaths of hundreds of millions to this day around the world, causing more death and suffering than both world wars combined, and all other wars in between, several times that terrible toll in fact. Is all that about medicine, about economics, or about something else?
“Side effects” may include positive things. I hope as the software progresses they will find uses for drug combinations that are unknown. I read about how they are trying to find new uses for existing (FDA approved) drugs. This software could help in that regard also.....