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MilliporeSigma Launches First Ever AI Solution to Integrate Drug Discovery and Synthesis

News Release

  • Combines generative AI, machine learning and computer-aided drug-design to increase the success rate of new drugs and therapies
  • Virtually screens compounds from a universe of >60 billion chemical targets and evaluates synthesis routes for safer, cost- effective, higher-yield drug manufacturing
  • Recommends chemicals, reagents and building blocks for synthesis

Addision  ProteinBurlington, Massachusetts, December 5, 2023 – MilliporeSigma, the U.S. and Canada Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany, a leading science and technology company, today launched its AIDDISON™ drug discovery software, the first software-as-a-service platform that bridges the gap between virtual molecule design and real-world manufacturability through SynthiaTM retrosynthesis software application programing interface (API) integration.

It combines generative AI, machine learning and computer-aided drug-design to speed up drug development. Trained on more than two decades of experimentally validated datasets from pharmaceutical R&D, AIDDISON™ software identifies compounds from over 60 billion possibilities that have key properties of a successful drug, such as non-toxicity, solubility, and stability in the body. The platform then proposes ways to best synthesize these drugs.

“With millions of people waiting for the approval of new medicines, bringing a drug to market, still takes on average, more than 10 years and costs over US$2 billion1” said Karen Madden, Chief Technology Officer, Life Science business sector of Merck. “Our platform enables any laboratory to count on generative AI to identify the most suitable drug-like candidates in a vast chemical space. This helps ensure the optimal chemical synthesis route for development of a target molecule in the most sustainable way possible.”

Discovering drugs is a long, iterative process. Only about 10% of drug candidates evaluated in Phase I made it to market2. To find the most suitable chemical compound from a universe of more than 1060 molecules3 requires significant time, resources, and expertise. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning models like AIDDISON™ software can extract hidden insights from huge datasets, thus increasing the success rate of delivering new therapies to patients. AI has the potential to offer more than US$70 billion in savings for the drug discovery process by 2028, and to save up to 70% time and costs for drug discovery in pharmaceutical companies4.

1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32270704/
2https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211383522000521
3 https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/ar500432k
4https://bekryl.com/industry-trends/ai-artificial-intelligence-in-drug-discoverymarket-size-analysis


About the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

The Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada, has more than 28,000 employees and more than 55 total manufacturing and testing sites worldwide, with a portfolio of more than 300,000 products focused on scientific discovery, biomanufacturing and testing services. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics.

Around 63,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From providing products and services that accelerate drug development and manufacturing as well as discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2023, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 21 billion in 65 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operate as MilliporeSigma in life science, EMD Serono in healthcare and EMD Electronics in electronics. Since its founding in 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. For more information about Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, visit www.emdgroup.com.

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