DURHAM, N.C., March 20, 2020 — Polarisqb has partnered with Fujitsu to create a drug discovery platform combining quantum-inspired technology, machine learning, hybrid quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics simulations (QM/MM).
This new platform enables significantly faster, more cost-effective discovery of novel lead molecules to develop new drugs. Polarisqb and Fujitsu have begun a drug discovery project targeting Dengue Fever which has no approved treatments.
Under the current system, to develop a new drug, researchers must identify candidate molecules from an almost infinite number of options that can bind to and block (or activate) the specific protein that is key to a particular disease. Current approaches scan a small number of possible molecules and risks missing the correct molecule; for many diseases the right drug still hasn’t been found. Outbreaks such as the COVID-19 highlight the necessity for faster processes to find cures in our world of global interconnections. The drug discovery industry is in profound need of innovation to speed up the process.
The partnership between Fujitsu and Polarisqb brings together pioneering technologies from both companies to develop a platform that will radically improve the inefficient drug discovery process. Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired Digital Annealer has enabled the platform to search an exponentially larger molecular space (over 1 billion molecules) compared to current market techniques. The list of lead molecules identified by the Digital Annealer is then analyzed by Polarisqb‘s proprietary machine-learning algorithm and QM/MM for rapid assessment of the molecule’s potential to be a viable drug. The resulting high-quality lead molecules are then synthesized, tested, and finally licensed to pharmaceutical partners for further development. Currently, the process of identifying lead molecules, synthesis, and in-vitro testing takes between 2–4 years. But with this new platform, the process is reduced to 8 months.
The global impact of Dengue Fever annually is estimated at 100 million infections and 22,000 deaths. The new lead molecules for a Dengue Fever drug are estimated to be made available for partners to take through to the next stages in the drug discovery process by May 2020.
Polarisqb is actively tracking scientific developments with COVID-19 and are pursuing avenues to add our technology to the world-wide efforts to create small molecule drugs and combat this pandemic.