GSK establishes AI hub in London to discover new drugs

4 September 2020 (Last Updated September 4th, 2020 15:26)

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has opened a £10m research hub in King’s Cross, London to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for the discovery of new drugs to treat cancer and other diseases.

GSK establishes AI hub in London to discover new drugs
The aim is to partner with other pharma companies using AI for the drug discovery process. Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has opened a £10m research hub in King’s Cross, London, UK, to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) for the discovery of new drugs to treat cancer and other diseases.

Initially, the research base will have 30 scientists and engineers, who will work with their new neighbouring hubs, including the Francis Crick and Alan Turing research institutes.

The aim is to partner with other pharma companies using AI for the drug discovery process, such as analysis of genes that could cause disease and screening for potential drugs.

The company’s chief executive Emma Walmsley said that the move is expected to help enter the ‘huge London tech talent pool’ and attract scientists to GSK, according to London Evening Standard.

Walmsley was quoted as saying: “Using technologies like AI is a critical part of helping us to discover and develop medicines for serious diseases.”

US-based tech giant NVIDIA will also send a team of engineers to the new GSK research hub to explore ways of working together to find new drugs.

GSK is also expected to announce a collaboration with another US company, Cerebras, which has an AI supercomputer with the largest chip and is said to be a thousand times faster than conventional machines.

Scientists at the new hub will be part of an 80-member team of AI experts worldwide at GSK.

In a statement, GSK said: “We’ve announced our new AI hub in London, which will help us reimagine how new medicines are discovered for cancer and other serious diseases.”

Last month, Merck, known as MSD in Europe, announced plans to build a $1.3bn (£1bn) research hub on a 25,000m² site in London.

The hub, named London Discovery Research Centre, is the first early research centre by Merck outside of the US.