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
Importance of AI in drug discovery
Select Science - 01-Oct-2019
Automation eliminates manual operation and leaves no room for errorsRead more...
Robot revolutionises study of new molecules
Independent - 18-Jul-2018
This software test many chemical reactions simultaneously and may lead to faster drug discoveryRead more...
Robots grow mini-organs from human stem cells
ScienceDaily - 17-May-2018
An automated system was developed to keep track of the growing of mini-organs from human stem cellsRead more...