The practice of medicine is ever evolving. Diagnosing disease, which is often the first step in a cure, has seen a sea change from the discerning hands of the neighborhood physician to the use of sophisticated machines to use of information gleaned from biomarkers obtained by the most minimally invasive of means. The last 100 or so years have borne witness to the enormous success story of allopathy, a practice that found favor over earlier practices of medical purgatory and homeopathy. Nevertheless, failures of this approach coupled with the omics and bioinformatics revolution spurred precision medicine, a platform wherein the molecular profile of an individual patient drives the selection of therapy. Indeed, precision medicine-based therapies that first found their place in oncology are rapidly finding uses in autoimmune, renal and other diseases. More recently a new renaissance that is shaping everyday life is making its way into healthcare. Drug discovery and medicine that started with Ayurveda in India are now benefiting from an altogether different artificial intelligence (AI)—one which is automating the invention of new chemical entities and the mining of large databases in health-privacy-protected vaults. Indeed, disciplines as diverse as language, neurophysiology, chemistry, toxicology, biostatistics, medicine and computing have come together to harness algorithms based on transfer learning and recurrent neural networks to design novel drug candidates, a priori inform on their safety, metabolism and clearance, and engineer their delivery but only on demand, all the while cataloging and comparing omics signatures across traditionally classified diseases to enable basket treatment strategies. This review highlights inroads made and being made in directed-drug design and molecular therapy.
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