Insilico Medicine

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Insilico Medicine
Founded2014 (2014)[1]
FounderAlex Zhavoronkov
ServicesDrug discovery

Insilico Medicine is a biotechnology company based in Pak Shek Kok, Hong Kong in Hong Kong Science Park near the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The company combines genomics, big data analysis, and deep learning for in silico drug discovery.[2][3][4]


CEO Alex Zhavoronkov founded Insilico Medicine in 2014, as an alternative to animal testing for research and development programs in the pharmaceutical industry. By using artificial intelligence and deep-learning techniques, Insilico is able to analyze how a compound will affect cells and what drugs can be used to treat the cells in addition to possible side effects. Through its Pharma.AI division, the company provides machine learning services to different pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and skin care companies.[5][6] Insilico is known for hiring mainly through hackathons such as their own molhack online hackathon.[7]

The company has multiple collaborations in the applications of next-generation artificial intelligence technologies such as the generative adversarial networks and reinforcement learning to the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties.[8][9] In conjunction with Alan Aspuru-Guzik's group at Harvard, they have published a journal article about an improved GAN architecture for molecular generation which combines GANs, reinforcement learning, and a differentiable neural computer.[10]

Insilico's recent paper in Nature Communications describing the iPANDA dimensionality reduction algorithm included collaborators from 11 institutions.[11] In 2017, Insilico was named one of the Top 5 AI companies by NVIDIA for its potential for social impact.[12] Insilico also has R&D resources in Belgium, Russia, and the UK and hires talent through “hackathons” and other local competitions.[13] By 2017, Insilico had raised $8.26 million in funding from investors including Deep Knowledge Ventures, JHU A-Level Capital,[14] Jim Mellon,[15] and Juvenescence.[1][16][17][18]

In September 2019 the company in partnership with researchers at the University of Toronto, used AI to design a drug In 21 days. The full process included testing the most promising molecule on mice and took 46 days.[19][20]


  1. ^ a b Gantz, Sarah (23 February 2017). "Insilico Medicine raises $10 million". The Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Insilico Medicine launches a drug discovery platform ALS.AI". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  3. ^ "GlaxoSmithKline taps Baltimore's Insilico for AI-based drug discovery | FierceBiotech". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  4. ^ "InSilico Medicine Company Profile | PitchBook". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  5. ^ "New partnership uses artificial intelligence methods to develop solutions for preventing early aging". 1 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Can artificial intelligence aid human age-reversal?". 12 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ "MolHack Hackathon". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  8. ^ Kadurin, Artur; Nikolenko, Sergey; Khrabrov, Kuzma; Aliper, Alex; Zhavoronkov, Alex (5 September 2017). "druGAN: An Advanced Generative Adversarial Autoencoder Model for de Novo Generation of New Molecules with Desired Molecular Properties in Silico". Molecular Pharmaceutics. 14 (9): 3098–3104. doi:10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00346. PMID 28703000.
  9. ^ Cox, Patrick. "Here's How Pharma Is Using AI Deep Learning To Cure Aging". Forbes. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  10. ^ Putin, Evgeny; Asadulaev, Arip; Ivanenkov, Yan; Aladinskiy, Vladimir; Sanchez-Lengeling, Benjamin; Aspuru-Guzik, Alán; Zhavoronkov, Alex (15 May 2018). "Reinforced Adversarial Neural Computer for Molecular Design". Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. 58 (6): 1194–1204. doi:10.1021/acs.jcim.7b00690. PMID 29762023.
  11. ^ Ozerov, Ivan V.; Lezhnina, Ksenia V.; Izumchenko, Evgeny; Artemov, Artem V.; Medintsev, Sergey; Vanhaelen, Quentin; Aliper, Alexander; Vijg, Jan; Osipov, Andreyan N.; Labat, Ivan; West, Michael D.; Buzdin, Anton; Cantor, Charles R.; Nikolsky, Yuri; Borisov, Nikolay; Irincheeva, Irina; Khokhlovich, Edward; Sidransky, David; Camargo, Miguel Luiz; Zhavoronkov, Alex (16 November 2016). "In silico Pathway Activation Network Decomposition Analysis (iPANDA) as a method for biomarker development". Nature Communications. 7: ncomms13427. doi:10.1038/ncomms13427. PMC 5116087. PMID 27848968.
  12. ^ "Nvidia identifies the top 5 AI startups for social impact". VentureBeat. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  13. ^ "AgeHack@MLBootCamp: The first Eurasian hackathon on AI for longevity to launch". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  14. ^ "JHU alumni-run A-Level Capital to support AI-powered drug discovery at Insilico Medicine". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Billionaire Jim Mellon invests in anti-ageing research firm - Pharmaphorum". Pharmaphorum. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  16. ^ "AI Is Helping This Anti-Aging Startup Uncover Ways for You to Live a Longer, Healthier Life". Futurism. 2 August 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Insilico, Juvenescence joint venture to develop AI-discovered molecules into new drugs". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Insilico Medicine signs deal to advance use of AI in discovering new drugs - Baltimore". Baltimore. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  19. ^ "An AI system identified a potential new drug in just 46 days". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  20. ^ Knapp, Alex. "This Startup Used AI To Design A Drug In 21 Days". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-08-14.