Polarisqb, Fujitsu join forces to create dengue drug discovery platform

Polarisqb has joined forces with Fujitsu to create a Dengue drug discovery platform that brings together quantum-inspired technology, hybrid quantum mechanics, machine learning, and molecular mechanics simulations (QM/MM).

The new platform is expected to help in significantly quicker, more cost-effective discovery of novel lead molecules for developing new drugs.

Polarisqb and Fujitsu have started a drug discovery project focused on dengue fever which currently has no approved treatments.

According to Polarisqb, under the present system, to develop a new drug, researchers should identify candidate molecules from an almost countless options that can bind to and block or activate the specific protein that is vital to a particular disease.

As per the company, current approaches scan a small number of potential molecules and risks missing the correct molecule, and for several diseases, the right drug is yet to be found because of this.

Polarisqb, Fujitsu join forces to create dengue drug discovery platform

Polarisqb, Fujitsu join forces to create dengue drug discovery platform. Image courtesy of Pete Linforth from Pixabay.

Outbreaks such as the novel coronavirus showcase the necessity for quicker processes to find cures, said the company. Polarisqb said that the drug discovery industry is in great need of innovation to accelerate the process.

Its partnership with Fujitsu will combine their technologies to develop a platform that can potentially improve the inefficient drug discovery process radically.

The quantum-inspired Digital Annealer technology from Fujitsu is said to have enabled the platform to search an exponentially larger molecular space, that is more than a billion molecules, compared to present market techniques.

The list of lead molecules identified by the Digital Annealer technology is then analyzed by Polarisqb’s machine-learning algorithm and QM/MM for rapid assessment of the molecule’s potential to become a viable drug. Subsequently, the high-quality lead molecules are synthesized, evaluated, and licensed finally to pharma partners for further development, said Polarisqb.

The company said that as of today, the process of identifying lead molecules, synthesis, and in-vitro testing consumes 2–4 years, while the new drug discovery platform will bring it down to eight months.

Polarisqb expects the new lead molecules for a dengue fever drug to be made available by May 2020 to advance to the next stages in the drug discovery process.

The company stated: “Polarisqb is actively tracking scientific developments with COVID-19 and are pursuing avenues to add our technology to the world-wide efforts to create small molecule drugs and combat this pandemic.”

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