Google’s Quantum AI division has joined forces with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to help develop new types of drugs. The joint mission, established over three years, involves investigating and developing quantum computing technology for “molecular dynamics” simulations or for studying the way molecules and atoms move.
Boehringer Ingelheim will conduct the project “in silico”, that is, through a computer simulation. For this, it relies on Google, which will make available quantum computers and algorithms. Boehringer Ingelheim says it is the “first pharmaceutical company in the world to join forces with Google in the field of quantum computing”.
In a statement, Google’s leader in quantum algorithms, Ryan Babbush, highlights the potential of this project. “The extremely precise modeling of molecular systems is widely considered to be one of the most natural and potentially transformative applications of quantum computing,” he explains.
The pharmaceutical company also highlights the importance of this project. “Quantum computing has the potential to simulate and accurately compare molecules much larger than is currently possible,” the statement said.
Note, however, that, considering that quantum computing is an “emerging technology”, it may take some time for the partnership to bear fruit.