How Artificial Intelligence Is Accelerating Life Sciences


The drug development lifecycle is long and fraught with heavy risk -- it takes a staggering 10 – 15 years on average, with ultimately only 12 percent of drugs in clinical trials gaining approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1]. To put this in perspective, 22.7 percent of all global research and development spending in 2017 was in the healthcare industry, second only to 23.1 percent spent in the computing and electronics industry, yet the product lifecycle is longer, and costs are much higher [2]. For example, the original iPhone took two and a half years to develop from concept to launch, and an estimated $150 million spent in research and development [3]. In contrast, the average cost of new drug and biologics is $2.87 billion when factoring in the post-approval research and development costs, according to figures released in May 2016 by The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug development (CSDD) [4]. For pharmaceutical companies that have launched more than four drugs, the median cost is closer to a staggering $5.3 billion according to analysis by industry expert Matthew Herper of Forbes [5].

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