Let’s talk about quantum computing in drug discovery

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Credit: Seeqc

An engineer at Seeqc inspects an example of the company’s “system on a chip,” which incorporates digital control of quantum processors on individual computer chips.

The heads of digital research technology at the top drug companies run into one another at conferences, and they frequently end up sitting side by side on panels. Discussions are simultaneously high level and down in the weeds, touching on trends in the increasingly data-dependent world of drug discovery. Recently, conferences and panels have focused on something so cutting edge that it isn’t even there yet—quantum computing in drug discovery.

It is a topic on which they want to gather more frequently.

“The idea came about at the Quantum.Tech conference in Boston in September of 2019,” says Brian Martin, head of artificial intelligence in R&D information research at AbbVie. “We were standing in a circle talking, and I realized we had representatives from GSK, Takeda, Pfizer, Merck, myself from AbbVie.”

It was a powerful circle, made up of people at the highest level of analytical and computational experience. “Emir Roach from Takeda said maybe we should formalize and start working together on this because none of us on our …

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