Google parent, Alphabet launches new AI drug discovery company named Isomorphic Labs

The CEO of DeepMind, Demis Hassabis has announced the creation of a new Alphabet company known as Isomorphic Labs. Built from the advances of DeepMind’s breakthrough AI system – AlphaFold2, Isopmorphic Labs mission is to reimagine the entire drug discovery process from first principles with an AI-first approach and, ultimately, to model and understand some of the fundamental mechanisms of life.

In the exact words of Demis Hassabis, Founder and CEO of Isomorphic Labs (and DeepMind)

“We are reimagining the entire drug discovery process from first principles with an AI-first approach”

He further said that over the years, DeepMind has been advancing in technological innovations, often using games as a proving ground to develop universal learning systems that are useful. One of these innovations was the development of AlphaGo, a program that defeated the world champion at the complex game of Go.

These powerful techniques and innovations developed by DeepMind have become relevant and sophisticated to be applied to real-world problems including scientific discovery. Biological and medical research is one of the most important applications of AI and DeepMind is dedicating its focus to this area through the introduction of Isomorphic Labs.

An Ai-First Approach To Drug Discovery And Biology

The CEO explained that the Covid19 pandemic exposed and brought to the limelight the essential duties that scientists and clinicians do every day to combat disease. Following this, the introduction of world-class computational facilities and AI methods will be a game-changer in research and drug discovery processes. These AI methods will be used for data analysis and ultimately, to build powerful predictive and generative models of complex biological phenomena.

The name Isomorphic Labs originates from the perspective that biology can be thought of as a complex and dynamic information processing system. This means that there is a common underlying structure between information science and biology, more like an isomorphic mapping between the two, thereby justifying the name of the company. Just like mathematics turned out to be the perfect description language for physics, biology, which is more complex and messy may turn out to be the perfect description for AI applications.

The Way Forward For Isomorphic Labs

Demis Hassabis, co-founder & CEO of DeepMind further said that the launch of Isomorphic Lab is the birth of a new approach to drug discovery. He expressed excitement while announcing that he will serve as CEO for Isomorphic’s initial phase, while remaining as DeepMind CEO, partially to help facilitate collaboration between the two companies where relevant, and to set out the strategy, vision and culture of the new company.  

As the new CEO, he hopes to partner with pharmaceutical and biomedical companies using AI to discover new medicines. This partnership will include building a world-class multidisciplinary team with deep expertise in areas such as AI, biology, medicinal chemistry, biophysics, and engineering, brought together in a highly collaborative and innovative environment.

He concluded that they look forward to bringing in productive new age of medical breakthroughs by using AI to accelerate drug discovery and to find cures for diseases affecting humanity.

Conclusively, in mapping out technical strategies for the new company, Isomorphic Lab is recruiting key leadership, scientific, engineering and operational roles, along with computational and medicinal chemists, and machine learning experts. If you are interested in joining the team, send them your CV.