Google to use quantum computing to develop new medicines

Sundar Pichai with one of Google's quantum computers in California in October 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Google’s Quantum AI division has partnered with German pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, to develop new drugs using quantum computing.

Through this collaboration, Boehringer Ingelheim and Google plan to focus on implementing quantum computing in pharmaceutical research and development, including molecular dynamic simulations.

While Boehringer Ingelheim will focus on computer-aided drug design and in silico modelling, Google will supply quantum computers and algorithms.

“Together with Google, our goal is to apply the use of quantum computing in biopharmaceutical R&D and thus continue to make a decisive contribution to medical progress for patients around the world,” Michel Pairet, Board member responsible for the company’s Innovation Unit at Boehringer Ingelheim, said in a statement.

Also Read: Google launches simulator to help researchers develop quantum algorithms

The idea is to use quantum computing to solve complex challenges during the early stages of pharmaceutical R&D, which today’s computers are unable to resolve.

According to Boehringer Ingelheim, Quantum computing has the potential to accurately simulate and compare much larger molecules than currently possible. This will create new opportunities for pharmaceutical innovation and therapies for a range of diseases.

“Extremely accurate modelling of molecular systems is widely anticipated as among the most natural and potentially transformative applications of quantum computing,” Ryan Babbush, Head of Quantum Algorithms at Google said.

Also Read: IBM plans to build a 1121 qubit system. What does this technology mean?

Boehringer Ingelheim said it is the first pharmaceutical company worldwide to join forces with Google in quantum computing. The partnership is designed for three years and is co-led by the newly established Quantum Lab of Boehringer Ingelheim.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 11:22:30 AM |

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