#83, Designing Optimal Drug Molecules from Scratch with Dave Longo from Ordaōs

AWS Health Innovation Podcast

#83, Designing Optimal Drug Molecules from Scratch with Dave Longo from Ordaōs

Ordaōs, a human-enabled machine-driven drug design company leveraging GenAI and AI/ML to design and build mini proteins as therapeutics for biomedical research and drug discovery.
April 2, 2024

#83, Designing Optimal Drug Molecules from Scratch with Dave Longo from Ordaōs

Imagine being able to design the perfect drug molecule from scratch, one that could cure diseases with unprecedented efficacy and minimal side effects. This is the ambitious vision driving Ordaōs, a human-enabled machine-driven drug design company focused on biomedical research and drug discovery. In this episode of the AWS Health Innovation Podcast, Yin He, Principal Business Development for Healthcare and Life Sciences Startups, interviews Dave Longo, the CEO of Ordaōs, to explore the cutting-edge world of AI-driven drug discovery.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this fascinating conversation:

Rethinking Drug Discovery Paradigms
Ordaōs challenges conventional drug discovery approaches, criticizing the “discovery mindset” of hunting for suboptimal drugs and then optimizing them. Instead, they propose designing optimal drug molecules upfront using AI and technology. This aligns with their mission to revolutionize biomedical research and drug discovery through human-enabled machine-driven drug design.

Unleashing AI’s Potential in Pharma
Ordaōs envisions a future where AI revolutionizes drug discovery, from target identification to optimization, by leveraging its ability to analyze vast data and generate novel insights. They aim to reduce the entire drug development timeline, from idea to FDA approval, to four years or less within 15-20 years, driven by AI and ML efficiencies.

Bridging Bits and Atoms
Ordaōs aims to bring “order of digital bits to the chaos of physical atoms” by applying AI and ML to protein therapeutic design. Their team of “molecular natives” – ML scientists focused on biology or biologists focused on ML – employs a “symphony of models” to create better protein designs.

Designing Mini Protein Therapeutics
Ordaōs focuses on designing mini proteins (40-80 amino acids) and small antibodies as new therapeutic modalities. Mini proteins bridge the gap between small molecules and antibodies, offering advantages like better tumor penetration, oral delivery potential, and blood-brain barrier crossing over traditional antibodies.

Challenging Assumptions, Persisting Through Challenges
Ordaōs emphasizes the importance of challenging assumptions and thinking from first principles when starting a new venture, rather than following established dogma. They advise aspiring entrepreneurs to persist through challenges and constantly question the foundations of assumptions made by respected experts in the field.

Learn more about Ordaōs and their innovative approach to drug discovery at

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