Baidu enters the field of medicine with the concept of robots
Not long ago, Baidu CEO Robin Li led the establishment of Baitu Biotechnology Co., Ltd. held the opening ceremony of the Beijing Central Laboratory, officially disclosing its immune system based on the biological computing engine de novo design for the first time.robot(“ImmuBot”), to achieve precise reprogramming of the immune system to treat various immune-related diseases.
The robot is a targeted therapy product consisting of multiple immune function warheads, tissue navigation warheads, microenvironmentsensorprogrammable controller and other components, which can realize the complex mechanism of action that traditional antibody drugs cannot achieve.
ins and outs
It is reported that Li Yanhong plans to raise 2 billion US dollars within 3 years for the research and development of biological drugs. The company’s founding funds mainly come from Robin Li’s personal funds and the personal funds of Liu Wei, the former CEO of Baidu Ventures.
The reason for this is that they hope to surpass a group of AI+ pharmaceutical companies and most Chinese innovative pharmaceutical companies that focus on R&D, and make original innovations.medicalproduct.
Regarding this plan, Liu Wei, CEO of Baitu Biotechnology, said that in order to become a new force in drugmaking, the company’s target is Genentech. As for the choice of products, the person in charge of the company said that the body’s immune system can respond to body abnormalities in a targeted manner, but with the decline of body functions, various health problems may occur. The immune robot launched by Baitu Bioscience simulates the natural state, which is to regulate the malfunctioning immune system to treat diseases.
What is an immune robot
Immune robots are equivalent to a new treatment method. Current drugs act on a single protein to solve complex immune problems, which are prone to immune escape and immune resistance. In this regard, Liu Wei believes that more complex drugs are needed. The mechanism of action is to bring more proteins to the immune system through robots. If a protein fails, there will be a second and third “replacement”.
The emergence of technology may bring new possibilities to the pharmaceutical industry.
At present, the research and development of innovative drugs is becoming more and more difficult, burning more money, but sales are becoming more and more unsatisfactory, the risks are high, and the cycle is long, making it difficult for ordinary pharmaceutical companies to continue. After decades of iterative development, AI technology, New heights have also been reached, enabling biological computing.
In order to make this robot, researchers need to perform rounds of screening by biological experiments. Using biological computing, this screening can be completed more quickly and efficiently in a virtual space to find a specific protein. Then adding “sensors” and “logic gates” to these proteins can sensitively sense the microenvironment and trigger them in specific environments, such as the tumor microenvironment.
On the basis of AI technology, Baitu Biotechnology is building a large-scale innovative drug portfolio, including more than 10 types of independent target mining projects, more than 30 component R&D projects, and more than 10 independent and cooperative drug R&D projects, involving China High incidence of gastric cancer, liver cancer and a large number of tumors and autoimmune diseases.
The driving force of the whole system is the “AI large model-driven high-throughput dry-wet closed-loop biological computing engine”. It includes key technologies such as multi-omics immune maps with trillions of relationships, protein/immune computing large models with hundreds of billions of parameters, and high-throughput immune simulation experimental systems with 100 million-level data production. The immune robot is based on this.
It is reported that the product is expected to enter the clinic next year.
Baidu’s big ambitions
Medical care and medicine are relatively conservative industries, and medicine is not like the Internet and consumer goods, and should not be used to stimulate consumption.
Robin Li has long been ambitious in the field of medicine. He founded the medical department in 2015. Although he abolished the medical department later, he still invests in related fields. Liu Wei also said, “Ultimately we want an artificial immune system.”
However, a technology company cross-border into the pharmaceutical industry without any experience in new drug R&D can make a good product by recruiting and investing? Can AI technology enter the research and development of innovative drugs, can it really make new products come to fruition?
Not to mention how difficult medical research is, the current scientific community does not know enough about the immune system, the application of AI in drug research and development is still in its infancy, and even AI technology itself is not mature.
Of course, it is definitely necessary to introduce artificial intelligence and big data in pharmaceutical research and development, but it is impossible to do it overnight. In terms of capital, Baidu has an advantage over most companies, but the entire big data cannot be completed by Baidu alone.
According to the ideal path, China needs to have a solid foundation for scientific research, and mainstream pharmaceutical companies need to strengthen R&D investment. This cannot be accomplished by a “new drug-making force”.
The way the Internet plays is not suitable for medicine. Baidu may provide new ideas for China’s new drug research and development, but it is not necessarily a new product.
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