Merck launches SaaS platform with 60 billion possibilities

The Aiddison drug discovery software works through Synthia retrosynthesis software application programming interface (API) integration and Merck says it combines generative artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and computer-aided drug design to speed up drug development.

Trained on more than two decades of experimentally validated datasets from pharmaceutical research and development, Aiddison software identifies compounds from over 60 billion possibilities that have key properties of a successful drug, such as non-toxicity, solubility, and stability in the body. The platform then proposes ways to best synthesize these drugs.

“With millions of people waiting for the approval of new medicines, bringing a drug to market, still takes on average, more than 10 years and costs over €1.9 billion,” said Karen Madden, chief technology officer of, life science business sector at Merck.

“Our platform enables any laboratory to count on generative AI to identify the most suitable drug-like candidates in a vast chemical space. This helps ensure the optimal chemical synthesis route for the development of a target molecule in the most sustainable way possible.”

The company explains that discovering drugs is a long, iterative process. Only about 10% of drug candidates evaluated in phase 1 made it to market. In its research, the company said that finding the most suitable chemical compound from a universe of more than 1,060 molecules requires significant time, resources, and expertise.

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