Meta-learning for transformer-based prediction of potent compounds

For many machine learning applications in drug discovery, only limited amounts of training data are available. This typically applies to compound design and activity prediction and often restricts machine learning, especially deep learning. For low-data applications, specialized learning strategies can be considered to limit required training data. Among these is meta-learning that attempts to enable learning in low-data regimes by combining outputs of different models and utilizing meta-data from these predictions. However, in drug discovery settings, meta-learning is still in its infancy. In this study, we have explored meta-learning for the prediction of potent compounds via generative design using transformer models. For different activity classes, meta-learning models were derived to predict highly potent compounds from weakly potent templates in the presence of varying amounts of fine-tuning data and compared to other transformers developed for this task. Meta-learning consistently led to statistically significant improvements in model performance, in particular, when fine-tuning data were limited. Moreover, meta-learning models generated target compounds with higher potency and larger potency differences between templates and targets than other transformers, indicating their potential for low-data compound design.

  • Published in:
    Scientific Reports
  • Type:
  • Authors:
    Hengwei, Chen; Bajorath, Jürgen
  • Year:

Citation information

Hengwei, Chen; Bajorath, Jürgen: Meta-learning for transformer-based prediction of potent compounds, Scientific Reports, 2023, 13, 16145, September,, Hengwei.Bajorath.2023a,

Associated Lamarr Researchers

lamarr institute person Bajorath Juergen - Lamarr Institute for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Bajorath

Area Chair Life Sciences to the profile