06 December 2022 | News
Applying Deep Learning Experience to Drug Discovery
Asia has, indeed, become the new hub for potential growth and innovation, with no signs of losing steam. To appreciate the Asian companies and individuals for their commendable performance and achievements during Calendar Year (CY) 2021, BioSpectrum Asia Excellence Awards 2022 ceremony was held at Lavender Ball Room, Hotel Fort Canning in Singapore on December 2, 2022.
A leader in next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for drug discovery and biomarker development, Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong headquartered startup Insilico Medicine emerged as the winner of BioSpectrum Asia Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2022.
Dr Zhavoronkov is also the founder of Deep Longevity, Inc, a spin-off of Insilico Medicine developing a broad range of artificial intelligence (AI)-based biomarkers of ageing and longevity servicing healthcare providers and life insurance industry. In 2020 Deep Longevity was acquired by Endurance Longevity.
Since 2015, he has invented critical technologies in the field of generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning (RL) for generation of novel molecular structures with the desired properties and generation of synthetic biological and patient data. He also pioneered the applications of deep learning technologies for prediction of human biological age using multiple data types, transfer learning from ageing into disease, target identification, and signalling pathway modelling.
Under his leadership Insilico raised over $300 million in multiple rounds from expert investors, opened R&D centres in six countries or regions, and partnered with multiple pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic institutions, nominated 7 preclinical candidates, and entered human clinical trials with AI-discovered novel target and AI-designed novel molecule.
Prior to founding Insilico, he worked in senior roles at ATI Technologies (GPU company acquired by AMD in 2006), NeuroGNeuroinformatics, Biogerontology Research Foundation. Since 2012 he published over 150 peer-reviewed research papers, and 2 books including "The Ageless Generation: How Biomedical Advances Will Transform the Global Economy" (Macmillan, 2013). He serves on the advisory or editorial boards of Trends in Molecular Medicine, Ageing Research Reviews, Ageing, Frontiers in Genetics, and founded and co-chairs the Annual Ageing Research, Drug Discovery and AI Forum (9th annual in 2022), the world's largest event on ageing in the pharmaceutical industry. He is the adjunct professor of artificial intelligence at the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing.
Dr Zhavoronkov holds two Bachelor degrees from Queen's University, a Master's in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Physics and Mathematics from Moscow State University.