Cambridge is in the vanguard of a new technology wave that will see quantum computing transform BioPharma markets worth many billions of dollars worldwide.
A newly unveiled partnership between Cambridge Quantum Computing in the UK and Roche – one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – lays down a marker for what should prove a global drug discovery revolution in the next few years..
No figures are being disclosed for the CQC-Roche collaboration in the arena of neurodegenerative disease but the partners sit at the heart of a massive opportunity.
It is just one market among many but the field of large proteins alone, mostly in the form of antibody therapeutics, is said to be worth close to $200 billion and quantum computing is felt to have the ‘open sesame’ factor to treatment treasure.
CQC and Roche have joined forces to design and implement algorithms for early-stage drug discovery and development for Alzheimer’s.
The announcement is one of the first by a major pharma company to acknowledge an application of quantum computing for a specific research program.
It also shows that Roche believes it can achieve value from quantum computing during a time when today’s early machines are still relatively unstable and error-ridden compared to classical computers.
The noisy-intermediate-scale-quantum (NISQ) algorithms being created by the partners are designed for early-stage drug discovery and development.
The multi-year collaboration will combine the industry-leading expertise of both CQC and Roche to significantly advance the application of quantum computing to pharmaceutical relevant problems – accelerating the industry closer towards quantum advantage.
The collaboration will employ CQC’s leading quantum chemistry platform ‘EUMEN’, to augment the Alzheimer’s disease research efforts of Roche. The collaboration will be recognised as one of the most substantive research efforts in the field of quantum computing to date and strives to enable the development of next generation, quantum inspired therapeutics.
Ilyas Khan, CEO of CQC said: “For many years quantum computing has held out great promise for discovering new therapeutics that aid humanity in fighting some of the most devastating and damaging diseases.
“We are pleased that due to the careful and pioneering efforts of our research teams, some of this promise is starting to come to fruition. We are excited to collaborate with Roche and their quantum computing taskforce. It is a true privilege to collaborate in pursuit of quantum advantage.”