A new quantum computing-based application aims to speed up the drug discovery and development process for complex neurological diseases.

In the summer of 2017, Accenture Labs and quantum software firm 1QBit announced their collaboration with bio technology company, Biogen. The objective is to develop a first-of-its-kind quantum-enabled molecular comparison application that could significantly improve advanced molecular design to speed up drug discovery for complex neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Drug Design

Molecular comparison is a crucial part of early-phase drug design and discovery, and involves intensive computational methods to review molecule matches and predict the positive effects of a therapy or drug while reducing negative side effects.
By leveraging quantum computing – a computing paradigm that has the potential to find the answers to complex problems millions of times faster than traditional computers  – the new application provides novel insights into the molecular comparison process as well as much deeper contextual information about how, where and why molecules match. This is expected to enable scientists and researchers to analyze large collections of molecules more quickly and cost effectively.
“At Biogen, we’re always looking to harness cutting-edge technologies that push the boundaries of traditional pharmaceutical research to discover new treatments and cures for complex neuro inflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions,” said Govinda Bhisetti, Head of Computational Chemistry, Biogen.
“Collaborating with researchers at Accenture Labs and 1QBit made it possible to rapidly pilot and deploy a quantum-enabled application that has the potential to enable us to bring medicines to people faster”
Reference: Accenture