AI-Powered Antibiotics Must Go Beyond Big Pharma

In Global Advocacy, Global Featured, News by Brian Shepherd

While AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) commends the team of scientists that used artificial intelligence to discover the first new antibiotics in six decades, AHF urges governments and medical engineers to ensure everyone in the world benefits from groundbreaking technologies and their successes, not just the rich and big pharma.

“News of the creation of the first new antibiotics in 60 years using AI is an extremely promising development as antimicrobial resistance poses an undervalued threat to the world, including drug-resistant STIs and other infections,” said AHF Senior Global Medical Director Dr. Adele Schwartz Benzaken. “These deep learning models are part of all our futures. With taxpayers funding most of the pharmaceutical innovation, we urge policymakers to ensure governments get their fair share in intellectual property rights from medical discoveries using artificial intelligence where public funds were involved.”

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the discovery last month of new antibiotics that can kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – a disease that causes an estimated 122,000 deaths annually (2019).

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