That is what the Nagasaki University of Japan is planning for its research on highly pathogenic and infectious tropical diseases.
In its mission to design universal vaccines to certain highly pathogenic and infectious diseases prevalent in tropical regions, Nagasaki University has turned to an advanced AI platform for collaboration.
Under the scope of the agreement, the AI platform will be used to design both T-cell and B cell vaccines. Subsequently the university will validate the designs using their “wet-lab” capabilities and convalescent donor samples collected from their extensive network of tropical field stations.
This collaboration has also led to the establishment of the Vaccine Informatics Department at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in the university. The department will employ its AI technology to support the university’s vaccine researchers in conducting basic research aimed at understanding the immune correlates of protection across a range of tropical diseases. Said Professor Takeshi Nagayasu, Trustee (Strategic Development and Research), Nagasaki University: “By combining the expertise of Nagasaki University in tropical medicine with the advanced AI technology of NEC, we aim to make significant strides in vaccine development for the benefit of global health.”
According to Richard Stratford, CEO of NEC OncoImmunity (NOI), the AI platform involved:
“NOI’s core AI technology is well suited for the development of universal vaccines, and we are fully committed to delivering effective vaccine designs to Nagasaki University that target highly pathogenic and tropical infectious diseases.” The said AI, originally used for cancer research, can be trained to identify optimal antigens from pathogens, for the purpose of designing broadly-protective vaccines against highly diverse viral species and viral genera, for effective use in global populations (subject to each country’s own health ministry’s vaccine testing and certification criteria).
The firm’s spokesperson noted that infectious diseases have gained even more attention following the years-long COVID-19 pandemic, which had necessitated super-accelerated clinical testing and approval of different types of vaccines (with legal indemnity) across the world.