AI is dreaming up drugs that no one has ever seen. Now we’ve got to see if they work.

There are now hundreds of startups exploring the use of machine learning in the pharmaceutical industry, says Nathan Benaich at Air Street Capital, a VC firm that invests in biotech and life sciences companies: “Early signs were exciting enough to attract big money.”

Today, on average, it takes more than 10 years and billions of dollars to develop a new drug. The vision is to use AI to make drug discovery faster and cheaper. By predicting how potential drugs might behave in the body and discarding dead-end compounds before they leave the computer, machine-learning models can cut down on the need for painstaking lab work.