TechCrunch: Google makes it easier to find prescription drug disposal sites. “In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, Google will begin labeling places where people can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Now, users can find clearly labeled drug disposal sites directly from searches for things like ‘drug drop off near me’ or ‘medication disposal.'”
MIT Technology Review: AI is reinventing the way we invent. “Regina Barzilay’s office at MIT affords a clear view of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Amgen’s drug discovery group is a few blocks beyond that. Until recently, Barzilay, one of the world’s leading researchers in artificial intelligence, hadn’t given much thought to these nearby buildings full of chemists and biologists. But as AI and machine learning began to perform ever more impressive feats in image recognition and language comprehension, she began to wonder: could it also transform the task of finding new drugs?”
Georgia Tech: Open Source Machine Learning Tool Could Help Choose Cancer Drugs. “The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails? That’s where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to information about patient outcomes with specific drugs, the open source tool could help clinicians chose the chemotherapy drug most likely to attack the disease in individual patients.”
Columbus Dispatch: Drug Price Look Up. “Drug prices are difficult to determine for patients. Drug wholesalers, distributors, healthcare providers, pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacists keep prices hidden from the public. But now, that changes. The Dispatch has analyzed federal drug pricing data, combined with codes attached to each type of drug distributed in the United States, to give the public a better understanding of what their drugs should cost. The public can use this tool to look up what their pills should cost and compare the numbers with what they are charged at the pharmacy counter or through the mail.”
Sleep Review: Database Links Circadian Rhythms to Drug Metabolism in Human Tissues. “Using new bioinformatics tools to analyze thousands of human tissue samples, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center created a new database of daily rhythms in human gene activity—including many genes that regulate how drugs work.”
EurekAlert: Artificial intelligence helps Stanford researchers predict drug combinations’ side effects . “Last month alone, 23 percent of Americans took two or more prescription drugs, according to one CDC estimate, and 39 percent over age 65 take five or more, a number that’s increased three-fold in the last several decades. And if that isn’t surprising enough, try this one: in many cases, doctors have no idea what side effects might arise from adding another drug to a patient’s personal pharmacy.”
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: Revitalizing the drug pipeline: AntibioticDB, an open access database to aid antibacterial research and development. “The current state of antibiotic discovery, research and development is insufficient to respond to the need for new treatments for drug-resistant bacterial infections. The process has changed over the last decade, with most new agents that are in Phases 1–3, or recently approved, having been discovered in small- and medium-sized enterprises or academia. These agents have then been licensed or sold to large companies for further development with the goal of taking them to market. However, early drug discovery and development, including the possibility of developing previously discontinued agents, would benefit from a database of antibacterial compounds for scrutiny by the developers. This article describes the first free, open-access searchable database of antibacterial compounds, including discontinued agents, drugs under pre-clinical development and those in clinical trials: AntibioticDB.” The article is free.