The development of new medicine typically takes years to meet requirements and ensure that the drug is viable and ready for public use, however, scientists within the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research have been experimenting with high-tech tools to aid the global search for a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine. When the drug discovery process runs its normal course, it can take years to be able to administer it after ensuring that it passes through rounds of clinical trials, and is safe and effective.
The Experimental Therapeutics Branch has a solid reputation as a drug discovery and development program, playing a role in the majority of the Food and Drug Administration approved malaria prevention drugs. When the pandemic emerged, the organization partnered with the Southwest Research Institute, which had developed technology that is AI and machine-learning-based. The tech seeks molecules that can successfully bind to a target of interest in the virus.