Scientists use AI to develop advanced gastric acid treatment

Creating new drugs with deep learning and gastric proton pump structures.


Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan used artificial intelligence to make a better medicine for stomach problems. They found a way to create a drug that can stop the discomfort caused by too much stomach acid. This new medicine works better than the ones we have now. They wrote about this in a scientific journal called Communications Biology. This is a new way to use computers to make better medicines for people with stomach issues.

A group of scientists at Nagoya University, along with other collaborators, used artificial intelligence to make new medicines. They focused on a part of the stomach that controls stomach acid and used AI to design special chemicals to target it. They made over 100 different chemicals and found that one of them, called DQ-06, was better at stopping stomach acid than the medicines we have now. This research might help create better drugs for stomach problems.

At first, Professor Abe had doubts about the technology they were using. Some of the chemicals designed by AI seemed strange. However, they realized that AI was being honest and creating chemicals for a specific purpose. They used a special microscope to see how the chemicals interacted with the stomach part they were targeting. They found that they could make the chemical work even better by adding a chlorine atom to it. This led to the creation of a more potent compound called DQ-18.

Abe said, “While the results confirmed that the compound was bound as expected, we found that there was still some room between the binding pocket of the compound and the protein. If we fill these gaps, the compound will fit more ‘snugly’ into the pocket, resulting in stronger bonding”.

By combining AI with human expertise, they created a compound that works almost ten times better than the previous one. This shows that AI and humans can work together to discover better medicines. While AI can help design drugs, human knowledge is still essential for making the final decisions. This research is a big step in developing better treatments for stomach issues. It shows how AI can change medicine for the better when used with human insight.

The research conducted by scientists at Nagoya University, alongside AI technology, represents a remarkable step forward in pharmaceutical development. It demonstrates the potential of AI as a powerful tool when used in collaboration with human researchers, offering new possibilities for enhancing the world of medicine and ultimately improving human health through more effective treatments for gastric acid-related conditions.

Journal reference:

  1. Abe, K., Ozako, M., Inukai, M. et al. Deep learning has driven de novo drug design based on gastric proton pump structures. Communications Biology. DOI: 10.1038/s42003-023-05334-8.
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