Quantum Subscription Platform Aims to Accelerate Drug Discovery

POLARISqb platform identifies candidate models for drug targets
John Potter
John Potter

June 6, 2023

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Quantum-Aided Drug Design uses quantum annealing to generate candidate drug molecules Polaris qb

Quantum biotech company POLARISqb has launched Quantum-Aided Drug Design (QuADD) a subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) platform that can quickly compile a library of the best candidate molecules for use as drug targets.

The first step in developing a new preclinical lead is to create a library of small molecules that may interact with the target protein binding pocket. To build such a library, scientists typically rely on wet-lab testing, which traditionally takes years, costs millions, and is limited to certain chemicals. QuADD uses quantum computing to construct diverse and customized libraries of optimized molecules in a few days.  

QuADD's new approach converts the library building problem into an optimization problem that can be solved using a quantum annealing computer. Quantum annealing computers can perform optimization calculations orders of magnitude faster than conventional computers. 

The technology is helping researchers determine which drug-like molecules in a theoretical

chemical space are best suited for a particular protein pocket in terms of its characteristics. This is a more comprehensive approach than what researchers can investigate in a wet lab, as they're limited to using only available medications.

QuADD can target a particular binding pocket to find brand-new, bioavailable, and synthesizable lead-like hits from a library of 10–30 structures in 1-3 days. A customer-defined ligand and protein binding pocket structure serves as the input for such a request. Once initiated, QuADD can generate an optimized library of 1k-10k molecules tailored to the specific protein pocket requested by the customer.  

Polarisqb claims to be the first company to offer a quantum computing-based SaaS for drug discovery.

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