Google’s Quantum AI division is teaming with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to develop new types of drugs, the companies announced. The idea is to research and develop quantum computing tech to do “molecular dynamics” simulations, or the study of how molecules and atoms move. Boehringer Ingelheim has developed a new quantum lab for the three-year project, saying it’s the “first pharmaceutical company worldwide to join forces with Google in quantum computing.”
Boehringer Ingelheim will do the computer-aided “in silico” drug design while Google will supply the quantum computers and algorithms. Quantum computing has shown promise in this field, as it can in theory handle larger, more complex molecules than regular simulations. “Extremely accurate modelling of molecular systems is widely anticipated as among the most natural and potentially transformative applications of quantum computing,” said Google head of quantum algorithms, Ryan Babbush.