Simulating the Entire Human Body to Accelerate Drug Approval

One of the main reasons that drug approval takes so long, is that there’s no good simulation of the human body to experiment on. That’s why we need to experiment on animals and check for potential side effects (a process that can easily take 1-2 years), and later on conduct clinical trials on thousands of human beings.

Now imagine the paradigm shift of the entire drug development and approval process, if we could conduct those trials within a few days (instead of years), using a dynamic simulation of the human body!

I do see one big problem with this idea: Companies are already investing incredible amounts of money into clinical trials. If it were possible to replace those trials with an AI system, it probably would’ve happened already… or would happen without XPRIZE’s assistance.

What do you think?

@darlenedamm - I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and if you like this idea - kindly vote for it! (I like some friendly competition :wink: )

@JessicaYoon - I remember you were part of the Longevity Impact Roadmap project. Excellent work, by the way. I had a great time reading through it, and “simulating the human body” was one of the grand challenges described in the report. What do you think about this suggestion? If you like it - please give it your vote!

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It is super helpful to have such kind of simulation methods.

@sjatkins, @GlobalFuturist, @bjcooper, @dai_andrew, @Terenceericson, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s a topic XPRIZE should focus on in our Global Visioneering program to design the next, $10M prize competition?

I like the idea l! I think some quantum computing companies are also thinking about this topic.

I wonder what would be the best thing to simulate to start with? For example, would you simulate a single cell? What would be most useful and at the right level of complexity?

My guess is that they would go for the heart. It’s not as complex and mysterious as the brain, but most people still need it to survive.

@farahelsiss, @dr2tom, @jonathankolber, @blreitze, you may find this interesting as well. Please share your thoughts, and if you agree it’s a worthwhile topic for XPRIZE to focus on please give it an up-vote! (Find the vote button in the upper-left, next to the discussion title.)

Hi @sahoo00, @mitjal, @gloriosoc, @sharare_zehtabian, @aocampom - What are your thoughts on stimulating the human body for accelerated drug approval? Is it possible?

@Roey Are we purely thinking of “digital” simulation or are we incorporating any in-silico (like a body on a chip) in this discussion? Simulating the entire human body, I believe, is highly important not only for drug approval but also for broader health and longevity including nutrition (I saw a post on all essential nutrient inclusive plant design.). Precision medicine and nutrition would certainly improve healthspan and QOL. :slight_smile:


I think your thought that that the starting place could be a single cell is spot on. As well this area of study could be the most practical application of Quantum computing and AI that exists!
Cells, RNA, DNA, proteins, enzymes and their processes while infinitely complex have definitive measurable outputs. These outputs could be used by the AI system to compare the model outputs of quantum computer calculations against the actual cell outputs for a given series of events.
For example, if say an mRNA vaccine was introduced to a live cell or system the system will respond with measurable actions reactions that are measurable. These reactions could then be used to test the quantum based simulation model output.

While this simulation development could literally take a decade if it was built from the ground up (cell level) and tested constantly agains real life outcomes the result would be invaluable!

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I really love this idea. It would be very difficult to do, but if we could make it happen, our imaginations would have to catch up with what it would be possible to simulate. So many possibilities!

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This discussion has fed into our prize sketch for Digital Twin. I hope we can get all of your feedback there as well!