Solving Hard Problems with AI: Dramatically Accelerating Drug Discovery Through A Unique Public-Private Partnership


  • John Baldoni
  • Edmon Begoli
  • Dimitri Kusnezov
  • John MacWilliams



Dramatic disruptions in technologies can result in the creation of new markets, the emergence of new paradigms, and the displacement of entrenched approaches and business models. This can be especially pronounced when multiple technologies converge to create something new. Today, artificial intelligence (“AI”) is acting as an accelerant for such technology transformations. Still, the scope and depth of its impact will depend in part on our ability to address challenging problems that are surfacing without solutions. Industries will pursue AI for their corporate missions and to create shareholder value.  But the timescales and applications can be incongruent with important public needs and with the longer research horizons required to make real progress. Public-Private partnerships are an important mechanism for tackling these rapidly emerging new, complex, challenging problems. This paper examines our experience gained by creating a unique public-private partnership to apply AI to one example of a hard problem that is particularly timely today-- dramatically accelerating drug discovery.