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Polarisqb, Auransa tout progress using quantum, AI in breast cancer project

By Dan O'Shea posted 15 Aug 2022

Polaris Quantum Biotech (Polarisqb), which has been exploring quantum computing use cases for drug discovery, particularly in the realm of cancer therapies, and partner Auransa, an AI-driven pharmaceutical company, announced progress using their respective technologies in a project focused on triple-negative breast cancer. 

The announcement comes after Polarisqb and Auransa, both companies that are led by female CEOs, made news in June 2021 as they embarked on a collaboration to target “neglected diseases disproportionately affecting women.”

Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 15% of breast cancers, is aggressive, has fewer treatment options, and tends to have worse outcomes than other breast cancers. 

However, in a press release, the partners described their progress, stating that “using Auransa’s SMarTR Engine and human disease data, they have identified a biological pathway that is predicted to be relevant and hence, likely to be important for patient outcomes. Within this pathway, the companies predicted two promising protein targets.”

The partners used Polarisqb’s Tachyon quantum computing platform to design “a virtual chemical space containing billions of molecules for each protein target, and searched it for novel molecular structures,” the release stated. “Several sets of leads were identified for each target and will be further tested in the laboratory.”

The companies’ respective technologies allowed them to make progress“with unprecedented speed and scale, taking only six months from data collection to molecular leads identified for two different pharmaceutical targets,” the release stated.

“We are very pleased with the progress we have made so far and are looking forward to bringing some of these unique molecules that were identified by the Tachyon platform to the wet bench. In a short amount of time, we were able to go from molecular data of disease tissues and predicting targets to identifying sets of promising leads, highlighting the skill, will, and the collaborative nature of the two teams,” said Pek Lum, Ph.D., CEO of Auransa.

Shahar Keinan, Ph.D., CEO of Polarisqb, said “We are excited to collaborate with Auransa on such an unmet need in the pharmaceutical industry and are proud of what the two teams have achieved in such a short time. These kinds of projects are showing the strength and synergy of both companies’ technologies, and we are looking forward to continuing to work on challenging targets such as these, and to bringing solutions both faster and at scale.”

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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