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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 9th February 2018 > Pharma Chameleon

Pharma Chameleon

An AI breakthrough could lead to a silver bullet for Alzheimer’s and offer a faster, cheaper way to find life-changing drugs

RESEARCH

@kmaney

IF VERGE GENOMICS CO-FOUNDER Alice Zhang is right, the kind of technology that allows you to search the web for “Japanese baseball jerseys” and find a $49.99 Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters shirt will help discover a cure for Alzheimer’s.

And that’s just the beginning. Her company could make traditional drug research in a lab seem more outmoded than an Amish wagon on an eight-lane highway. Most new Big Pharma drugs have gone through a painstaking process of lab research and trials that went on for 10 to 15 years and cost as much as $2 billion. Verge seems to be showing how to take that analog process and make it digital. And we all know what happens when anything goes from analog to digital: costs dive and supply shoots up. People used to buy a vinyl album for $12 but now can just stream it on Spotify for nearly nothing. In Verge Genomics, you can see the promise of a similar transformation in pharmaceuticals.

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THE WAR ON COLLEGE For decades, conservatives have waged a lonely war on college, but they are finally winning. They suddenly have allies on all sides, eager to tear down higher education and start over.
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