Raven2: AI Platform for Novel Drug Discovery

Harnessing AI to find new COVID-19 drugs.

Project Overview

Updated March 31, 2023

The Problem

While the global spread of COVID-19 continues at a rapid pace, the discovery, testing and approval of new drugs to fight the virus takes much longer.

The first new vaccines for COVID-19 are now ready, but new drugs that treat the virus could take years. Yet, both vaccines and therapeutic drugs are needed.

How We Are Solving It

In response, a feasibility project called Raven: Rapid Repurposing of Drugs for COVID-19 began in April and concluded in July 2020. Led by Variational AI with the support of adMare BioInnovations and the Vancouver Prostate Centre (affiliated with the University of British Columbia), this follow-up Raven2 project builds on the progress of the initial study in April to discover new and novel COVID-19 drugs. The new project’s drug discovery platform is based on a completely updated version of the previous AI algorithm, but enhanced massively to discover drugs from the chemical space of all 1060 drug-like molecules and make accurate predictions on whether they could be effective drugs against COVID-19.

This extension of the original study is developing new drugs against COVID-19. The goal is to generate drug candidates that would be licensed to biopharma partners for further development and clinical trials.

The Result

Powered by Variational AI’s proprietary EnkiTM generative AI platform. the Raven2 initiative is using generative artificial intelligence to rapidly discover novel and better COVID and human coronavirus antiviral medicines. Trained on experimental and computational drug discovery data from the consortium partners, publicly available and proprietary sources, Variational AI’s EnkiTM platform is being used to generate novel and better small molecules more quickly than current methods. In January 2023, Variational AI filed two U.S. provisional patents for potential COVID-19 drugs as a direct output of the Raven2 initiative, representing a key milestone of Canadian innovation driving the applicability of generative AI to drug discovery and better health outcomes. 

Project Lead

  • Variational AI

Project Partners

  • adMare BioInnovations
  • dts ubc logo e1632687012996

Get involved now!

We’re not waiting for the future. We’re creating it.

Become a Member

Are you ready to solve society's toughest challenges?