It's surprising how much pharmaceutical research to date has been more art than science. Computing power is still a long way off predicting the properties of proteins and cells from their DNA, so until then the more research that can be accelerated by automation (e.g. lab robots, lab-on-chip) the better.
And this is being driven by the big pharma companies who can't afford the failure rate at late stage drug development, or worse after release which can result in multi-billion law suits. I attended an excellenty talk by the chief scientific office for GE Healthcare recently and they are mass producing stem cell lines, and the machinery to test them, so that drugs can be tested for cardio-toxicity much earlier on in the development process.
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Laboratory Automation Blog Posts
Start-ups to scale manufacturing of stem-cell therapies for practical use
Nature - 29-Sep-2021
Challenges of mass producing stem cells and how 3 companies are attempting to overcome themRead more...
Robot Scientist uses AI to find cure for covid-19
Chalmers University of Technology - 03-Jun-2021
Speeds up drug discovery process, allowing researchers to find new treatments for deadly diseasesRead more...
Automating healthy lifespan studies using nematodes
Kumamoto University - 28-Jan-2021
New automated system with AI searches genes, drugs to extend human healthy lifespanRead more...
Scientists manufactures artificial organoids using automation
Lab Manager - 11-Nov-2020
Semi-automating tissue differentiation makes artificial tissues at a faster rateRead more...
IBM develops an online chemistry lab 'RoboRXN'
MIT Technology Review - 28-Aug-2020
Will lower the cost & speed up the process of developing drugsRead more...