Generative AI and ChatGPT in Pharma & Biotech Industry
Generative AI, notably ChatGPT, holds tremendous potential for transformation in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. This technology can revolutionize businesses in myriad ways.
In this article, we’ll delve into specific strategies these industries can employ to harness this AI’s capabilities. We’ll investigate its current uses, prospective future applications, and its potential to reshape business operations and research methodologies.
Table of Contents
What is Generative AI? What is ChatGPT?
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are built on large language models (LLMs), which are algorithms trained to generate relevant content by “learning” information from millions of pre-existing examples.
When a user submits a query to a Generative AI chatbot, the algorithm uses what it knows to construct a personalized response. It’s essentially an advanced form of predictive text. The result is a humanlike response as opposed to something that looks like it was generated by a robot.
Although Generative AI chatbots are often used to get simple answers, detailed and specific queries can generate longer and more thorough responses.
Where Does ChatGPT Fit into Biotech and Pharma Companies?
Utilizing deep learning algorithms and neural networks, Generative AI, a sophisticated class of Large Language Models, has the remarkable capacity to generate fresh, original content.
Originating from relatively rudimentary applications in the 1950s, it has undergone a significant evolution. Owing to the exponential growth in data availability and computational power, its applications have dramatically diversified and complexified.
Today, it is revolutionizing diverse sectors, notably the healthcare industry. Here, it is deployed for a wide range of tasks, from intricate data analysis to nuanced natural language processing tasks, driving unprecedented advancements that transform healthcare itself.
ChatGPT is a cutting-edge application of Generative AI, leveraging advanced deep learning techniques to create conversational experiences. As a state-of-the-art language model, ChatGPT can generate human-like responses based on input prompts, enabling interactive and engaging interactions with users.
Its capabilities exemplify the power and potential of Generative AI in transforming communication and user experiences.
How Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industry Benefit from ChatGPT
Some biotech companies are already using Artificial Intelligence in their quest to find new drugs and ChatGPT creates a more user-friendly interface between workers and their own discovery systems. These systems are often complicated and require endless clicking and reading to find information. By installing ChatGPT to search the discovery system’s database, information is gathered and presented to the user in a simpler, easy-to-read manner.
Drug hunters can especially benefit from a Generative AI chatbot simply because of the sheer amount of information they need to sift through to do their job.
For instance, when looking at graphs that show genes that interact with certain substances, engaging a conversational AI chatbot makes their task easier and more enjoyable. They can ask the chatbot how many genes are in a particular graph, find associations between genes and diseases faster, provide information, and ask even more detailed questions to get information instantly.
AI-assisted drug discovery shows the potential to be more efficient, predictable, and cost-effective than the traditional model. The key to making Generative AI work in this industry lies with training, and so far, some drug discovery companies have made it work well.
In fact, one company has used an Artificial Intelligence model to design proteins that kill E. coli bacteria. The amino acid sequences differ from natural proteins, but they fold in the same way.
A ChatGPT-like tool is the obvious next step. Here’s a deeper look at some of the best use cases for Generative AI in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries:
Provide Fast Access to Drug Information
Physicians get information about new and existing drugs from various sources, including their colleagues, journals, direct mail, pharmaceutical reps, hospital clinical meetings, and lectures. Reliability aside, all of these sources take time to access.
With ChatGPT, a physician could type a simple prompt asking for information about a drug, its indications, and contraindications, and ask if it’s been black-boxed. The chatbot would return the relevant information almost immediately.
Provide Easy Access to Clinical Studies & Patient Data
Clinical studies play an important role in how a doctor prescribes medication to patients. Doctors need to know a drug is relatively safe – along with potential side effects – before prescribing it to anyone. Sometimes doctors discover new drugs because they come across a clinical trial.
The problem is that doctors are on their own to research clinical trials. If they don’t know the name of a drug, they have to search for the clinical trial data or trials conducted based on symptoms, specific illnesses, and other phrases.
There are online search tools run by organizations like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but they’re not powered by Generative AI. This means physicians need to know exactly what keywords to type in to get the results they want.
With a Generative AI chatbot, they can ask natural questions and get information without knowing every single related keyword.
Support the Public's Need for Information
Many people research drugs on their own, so having a Generative AI chatbot available to the public would greatly improve the patient experience. Hospitals and physicians could offer this kind of tool on their website for patients and drug companies could do the same.
Typically, creating new drugs is a time-intensive process that requires testing millions of compounds. the ChatGPT model can help drug hunters create the exact molecules they need much faster.
For instance, if they need a molecule that is easily absorbed, ChatGPT can help them find it quickly. Generative AI also has the potential to help drug hunters make existing molecules safer and more effective or create entirely new compounds.
We’ve seen many times where AI (Artificial Intelligence) is used to create drugs that are being tested in trial stage. But this is the first time a finished medicine made by AI has been reported by Clinical Trial Arena.
The exciting news is, InSilico Medicine is a company in Hong Kong that uses AI. They have used this technology to make a new drug called INS018-055. This drug is for treating a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
When a drug candidate is found, Generative AI can be used to make similar molecules with more desirable properties.
Repurposing existing drugs
Sometimes existing drugs have potential uses that haven’t been explored yet. Generative AI can help drug hunters identify potential ways to use these drugs to treat additional health issues.
Personalization is something seen in just about every industry, and it also has a place in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Personalized treatments can be created using ChatGPT, or a similar application.
For example, if there is a group of people who need a specific effect, Generative AI can assist in identifying or creating a special molecule to serve that purpose. There is also potential for creating molecules on an individual basis for patients who need side effects to be eliminated.
Clinical Trial Testing
During clinical trials, new drugs are tested for safety and efficacy prior to being approved for use by the FDA. Generative AI can increase the efficiency of these trials by finding groups of people who are more likely to respond to the drug.
For instance, ChatGPT can find groups with specific genetic markers that predict how people might respond to the new drug. Finding people who will respond favorably will help the trial prove the drug works and should be on the market.
The Potential for Error
There is always a strong potential for error with Generative AI content. This is true even when information comes from a human. There’s no way to avoid all inaccuracies. However, when it comes to medical information, wrong information can have a negative or even deadly impact on a patient.
For instance, if the system doesn’t account for a patient’s allergies or somehow misses their medical history, they might be given information that is harmful to them but seems harmless to most people.
Are There Any Potential Drawbacks of Utilizing Generative AI in Pharma?
Aside from the possibility of error, there are some challenges to using Generative AI in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. For instance, Generative AI doesn’t exactly work out of the box.
Technically, anyone can type into a chat box and receive a response, but that doesn’t necessarily provide usable results. To get value from this technology, prompts need to be carefully and intentionally crafted to elicit optimal responses.
Some basic challenges include:
Data quality. Generative AI only works because it uses existing data as training. If the input is poor, the output will be poor and might generate poor models and inaccurate predictions.
Complexity. Getting approvals in these industries is a requirement, but since Generative AI is hard to explain, this could create roadblocks. At least until a few companies create an explanation that can be used as a general template for others.
Misuse. Although personalized drugs are a good thing (for those people), they could become controversial if too many people are excluded. For instance, a drug created to treat a specific disease should ideally work for everyone, but Generative AI might be used to make such a drug that only works for people with certain genetic markers.
Privacy. At some point, if any patient information is entered into a prompt, this could create a legal problem under HIPAA and other data privacy regulations. Private health information must be protected at all times, and whether a Generative AI platform processes or stores prompts, the entire web server and all software involved will need to be HIPAA-compliant.
Another potential business challenge is getting access to a Generative AI system that has access to the right database of information. This can be costly to create on your own, but thankfully, there are companies creating Generative AI systems specifically to serve the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
Get Support for Pharma and Healthcare Professionals with Aisera
By now, the benefits of using Generative AI, like ChatGPT, in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries should be clear. If you haven’t checked out what this technology can do for your company, now is the perfect time to find out.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and provide personalized care, start using AI and automation to support your staff and/or patients. Our AI and automation tools for pharma and biotech can help. To see how it works live, contact us to schedule a free demo.