Advanced Computing in Pharma: 3 reasons why quantum computing could disrupt R&D
Quantum computing technology uses quantum systems called “qubits”. They work with non-binary values, unlike classical computing which uses only bits with values of 0 or 1, and can overlap each other and act as a group. The result is a much greater power than conventional computers and allows for faster decision making and calculations by taking into account several options simultaneously rather than taking them one after the other. Quantum computing could therefore solve calculations in a few seconds, where classical computers would take several years or even decades. Several industries are expected to benefit from quantum computing over the next few years, but the impact of quantum computing could be the greatest in the pharmaceutical industry and particularly for drug discovery.
Alcimed gives you 3 reasons why quantum computing could disrupt R&D in pharma:
1. Quantum computing in pharma could reduce the costs of drug discovery and drug design stages
The time it takes to develop a drug, from discovery to launch, is a process based on very costly methods for pharmaceutical companies and is commonly estimated at more than 2 billion dollars for a drug, with success rates of less than 10% between entry into clinical development and launch of the new drug. The profitability of R&D investments is therefore currently based for pharma companies on a few successful drugs. Quantum computing in pharma could drastically reduce these costs, and potentially in the long run the price of drugs. By enabling accurate modeling of drug-target interactions and more efficient screening of very large virtual libraries, quantum computing in the pharmaceutical industry could reduce the need for expensive in vitro testing.
The development time of a drug, from discovery to launch, is more than 10 years. Because for new drugs as quantum computers can study very complex systems such as the human biological system and its reactions to drugs. The technology could also make it easier to use pre-approved drugs for new applications. Quantum computing for pharmaceuticals makes it possible to perform hundreds of millions of comparisons of complex molecules simultaneously: matches between molecules are examined, the positive effects of a new therapeutic approach can be predicted, as well as the negative effects. Design time and results are improved. In the future, it will be interesting to follow which therapeutic areas will benefit most rapidly from quantum computing technology in the pharma industry.
2. Quantum computing could facilitate the design of clinical trials
In silico clinical trials without any humans, could be a reality thanks to quantum computing in pharma R&D. Even if the technology is very far from being mature for this specific purpose today, quantum computing could participate in the building of virtual patients. It would allow for clinical trials designs with as many virtual patients as possible, with components chosen by the clinical trial sponsor. Quantum computing could potentially reduce the time of clinical trials, the number of sites and of “real” patients, and in the meantime increase their quality and completeness. The technology could potentially allow the inclusion of population types that are most often not included in clinical trials.
3. Quantum computing could foster the arrival of new players in pharmaceutical R&D
In order to make quantum computing technology a reality for pharmaceutical R&D, the development of suitable software and algorithms is necessary. Indeed, the software and algorithms of classical computing do not work in the same way. New players are therefore entering the market of quantum computing and specialize themselves on drug discovery. This is for example the case of Rahko, ProteinQure, GTN Ltd, Menten AI, etc. Long-established players in the IT market are also investing in the quantum computing market for pharma R&D, such as Google, IBM or Honeywell. Finally, new companies are entering the quantum computing market such as D-Wave, Rigetti and Xanadu Quantum Technologies.
All these companies could be potential partners for the pharmaceutical industry. It will be interesting to observe whether new players, originally outside the pharmaceutical industry, will be able to position themselves on the drug development market and how pharmaceutical companies will reorganize themselves in order to collaborate with these new players.
Quantum computing technology is expected to transform the early stages of pharmaceutical research and development in the coming decades, depending on how well companies will embrace it. The technology is still emerging but is slowly maturing to be commercialized, and appears to be very promising for pharma R&D. The first companies to position themselves in this area could gain a significant advantage over their competitors in terms of skills, which are currently rare in quantum computing.
And indeed, several large pharmaceutical companies are already positioning themselves on the topic. Biogen is working with 1QBit, a software company, and with Accenture Labs to develop an application aiming at accelerating drug discovery. Boehringer Ingelheim is the first pharmaceutical company to have entered a partnership with Google Quantum AI in early 2021 to develop applications for simulating molecular dynamics. Roche is cooperating with Cambridge Quantum Computing, a quantum software company, to design R&D algorithms, notably for Alzheimer’s research.
Ardena and RiboPro have formed an alliance to boost their respective skills in manufacturing and producing nanoparticle and mRNA-based therapeutics to improve accessibility to this technology in the biotherapeutic landscape.
Samsung Biologics agrees to use their biocampus Plant 4 for the manufacture of a line of products from Pfizer.
News EU Medical Devices Regulation causes unintended disappearances of medical devices for children, doctors stateDoctor groups and associations have appealed to the EU to correct the EU Medical Devices Regulation law that may cause unintended shortages of essential drug and medical devices for children and rare disease patients.
Last year, 37 novel drugs were approved by the FDA, this was a high number for such a category, and covered many fields including oncology, demonstrating how promising further research is, and how it is only continuing to build. To date, there are alre...
News Soft capsule technology: modified pea starch as a vegetal origin alternative to gelatin in capsule shellThe latest soft capsule technology from Roquette using modified pea starch as an alternative to gelatin.
Download your FREE pharma marketing eBook to learn why it is so important for pharmaceutical marketeers to develop their digital content marketing strategies in order to establish their companies as thought leaders and industry experts.
Pharma service provider further expands offerings for clinical development and manufacturing
Novavax, developers behind the Matrix-M adjuvant, have entered into an agreement with the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to provide the adjuvant in preclinical vaccine research.
Position your company at the heart of the global Pharma industry with a CPHI Online membership
Your products and solutions visible to thousands of visitors within the largest Pharma marketplace
Generate high-quality, engaged leads for your business, all year round
Promote your business as the industry’s thought-leader by hosting your reports, brochures and videos within your profile
Your company’s profile boosted at all participating CPHI events
An easy-to-use platform with a detailed dashboard showing your leads and performance