(FierceBiotech) Boehringer Ingelheim hopes to be out in front in bringing quantum computing to biopharma R&D. Through a new partnership with Google, the drugmaker hopes to harness its promised speeds and capabilities to simulate the body’s biological mechanics at the molecular level and help discover and design new treatments.
The three-year pharmaceutical project is the first of its type for Google’s Quantum AI division, and will be co-led by a new Quantum Lab at Boehringer—forming one part of the company’s digital transformation strategy alongside investments in machine learning and data science, as well as digitally powered biomarkers and therapeutics.
“Quantum computing has the potential to significantly accelerate and enhance R&D processes in our industry,” said Michael Schmelmer, a member of Boehringer’s board of managing directors. “Quantum computing is still very much an emerging technology. However, we are convinced that this technology could help us to provide even more humans and animals with innovative and groundbreaking medicines in the future.”
Though the total amount was undisclosed, Boehringer said it plans to “invest significantly in the coming years” in quantum computing, and has begun poaching researchers in the field from academia and private companies for its own dedicated lab.