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How Verge Genomics Uses AI To Tackle Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s And ALS

Verge Genomics is seeking to speed drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. However, rather than testing on animals, Verge Genomics takes a different approach, combining artificial intelligence with human genomics. Human brains are far more complex than animal brains, creating limitations to drug testing on animals, according to CEO Alice Zhang. Verge Genomics has created one of the largest databases of human brain tissue sequences in the world, consisting of tissue from more than 1,000 brains.

The company is expected to grow $2.1 billion by 2027, and hopes to have decoded the DNA of patients who die of neurodegenerative diseases using a machine learning algorithm to find genes that can serve as targets for new drugs. The approach to drug creation is complex and difficult, according to Zhang. However, once scientists identify potential treatments that target a single gene involved in the disease, the company’s teams can design drugs that specifically interact with it by using the database.

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