Deepmind unveils its new protein-folding AI model AlphaFold 3

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Ttoday, Deepmind announced the launch of AlphaFold 3, the next generation of its AI structural biology software, helping thousands of researchers predict the complex chemical interactions involving proteins. One big difference in the new version of the program: instead of just predicting protein foldingDoes it predict the interactions of others biological molecules as well as including DNA, RNA and small molecules. The company published the accuracy of its predictions in the log Nature.

In addition to the new capabilities – including even the ability to make predictions based on epigenetic changes in DNA – the company has also AlphaFold servera web service that allows researchers to generate biochemical models without having to install the system themselves from open source code, as was the case with previous iterations. Something else new is what AlphaFold is now working with diffusion models – which are colloquially known for being used by AI systems that generate images from text prompts – in place of some of the previous structural models.

“The response to AlphaFold 2 has been more than I could ever have imagined in terms of the kind of creativity and what the research community has done with it,” says Deepmind research director. Johannes Jumper said at a news conference. “And I can’t wait to see what they do with AlphaFold 3.”


Oscar Health reports its first profitable quarter as insurer enrollment increases

Oscar Health reported a $177 million profit in the first quarter — a first since the company’s founding more than a decade ago — as the provider of individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act delivers on its promises under new management. Oscar shook up management and hired former Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini last year.

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Pipeline and deal updates

Gene therapy: Regeneron reported preliminary data about his gene therapy for genetic deafness, which showed that two children who received the treatment had restored hearing.

Diagnostics: The FDA has approved Geneoscopy’s RNA screening test for colorectal cancer.

Immune disorders: Zenas Biopharma, which is developing a monoclonal antibody aimed at treating MS, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, has just announced the a $200 million Series C round to support his clinical efforts.

Infectious disease: Karius, which has developed a genomics-based test for infectious diseases, announced this raised a $100 million Series C co-led by Khosla Ventures, Gilda Healthcare and 5AM Ventures.

Viral pipeline: Flagship Pioneers announced the $50 million launch from his newest company, Prologue Medicines, which aims to discover potential new treatments by examining viral proteins.

Mental health: Backpack Healthcare, a startup that offers online mental health care for children, increased a $14 million Series A round led by PACE Healthcare Capital.

AI: Rad AI, a startup that uses generative AI to automate the writing of radiology reports, has done just that increased a $50 million Series B led by Khosla Ventures.


Gates, Novo Nordisk Foundation and Wellcome commit $300 million to climate change, infectious diseases and nutrition

The group said that while innovation has accelerated in recent years through new technologies and scientific breakthroughs, and through collective action that helps eradicate disease and improve lives, progress is now at risk as “funding and attention to global health and development is faltering.” Each of the three will contribute equally to the project – a commitment of $100 million each – said a statement, with the funding initially set to last for three years.

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Other healthcare news

Ozempic creator Novo Nordisk reported profits of $3.65 billion in the first three months of 2024, beating expectations amid the weight-loss drug frenzy.

Cigna reported a figure of $300 million first quarter loss due to $1.8 billion impairment on investment in physician-staffed clinic VillageMD.

Health insurer Healthcare coordination reported a net loss of $46.5 million in the first quarter, even as enrollment in its Medicare Advantage plans rose 50%.

The American Cancer Society launched the largest study of its kind, designed to examine how racism, health history and lifestyle can influence the long-term health and cancer outcomes of 100,000 Black women in the U.S. over 30 years.

The luxury gym Equinox is partnering with lab testing company Function Health to offer a $40,000-a-year program to promote longevity, first being rolled out in New York City and Highland Park, Texas.

More than 321,000 children in the United States lost a parent to a drug overdose between 2011 and 2021, according to a new study.

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What else we read

Making the promise of monoclonal antibody therapies available to all (STAT)

Medical freedom versus public health: should fluoride be in our drinking water? (NBC)

Three people shot during Super Bowl parade struggle with bullets in their bodies (KFF Health News)

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