Why a smart approach to AI-driven drug discovery prioritizes sustainability

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The fact that the biopharmaceutical industry has a large carbon footprint is well established. A 2022 study from My Green Lab confirmed that biotech and pharma are still among the globe’s top polluters. The research highlights that a mere 4% of the largest publicly-traded biotech and pharmaceutical firms have climate commitments in line with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cap warming at 1.5°C by 2030.

Yet climate change remains the most pressing threat to human health, potentially causing 250,000 additional deaths per year, as the World Economic Forum has noted.

AI as a doubled-edged sword in sustainability

For biopharma, AI-driven drug discovery could serve as a double-edged sword when it comes to sustainability. On the one hand, these technologies promise to enable new discoveries and optimized processes that could slash emissions.

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